Transitions: Guilford County, NC; Miramar, FL; Brunswick County, NC and more

Guilford County, North Carolina (population 495,279): In the wee hours of the morning of Friday, March 22, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to offer the job of Guilford County manager to Brunswick County Manager Marty Lawing, according to The Rhinoceros Times. Lawing, who will replace former Guilford County Manager Brenda Jones Fox, has agreed to accept the position and start working for Guilford County on Monday, May 6 at a salary of $183,000. The vote to hire Lawing was 6 to 3, split along racial lines, with the county’s six white commissioners (five Republicans and one Democrat) voting to hire Lawing, and the board’s three black commissioners (all Democrats) voting against the move. Those voting in favor of hiring Lawing were Chairman Linda Shaw and Commissioners Bill Bencini, Alan Branson, Kay Cashion, Hank Henning and Jeff Phillips, and those opposed were Commissioners Carolyn Coleman, Bruce Davis and Ray Trapp. The three commissioners who voted no said that they favored another candidate, a black man who has worked as a top local government administrator in other states, as their first choice. At the meeting, right before the vote, Trapp said he favored the other finalist over Lawing, but he said his decision had nothing to do with skin color but, instead, with qualifications. Davis said he felt the decision to hire Lawing was like Guilford County doing “Michael Jackson’s moonwalk dance” because the county pretended to be moving forward on matters of diversity, but it was in reality moving backward. After the vote, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Linda Shaw said she was very pleased with Lawing’s hiring and she said she felt Lawing and Guilford County would be a very good fit.

Miramar, Florida (population 124,302): Miramar City Manager Robert Payton abruptly resigned from his job Monday evening, according to the Miami Herald. Payton, 54, had been with the city for almost 37 years, starting as a garbage man and working his way up to city manager in 2001. During his tenure, Miramar became one of the fastest growing cities in Broward Country. But in 2010, he was embroiled in the public corruption case against former City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman. Payton, who prosecutors said facilitated a corrupt deal on Salesman’s behalf, never took any money and therefore was never charged in the crime. He eventually testified against Salesman. Deputy City Manager Wazir A. Ishmael has been appointed interim city manager.

Brunswick County, North Carolina (population 110,097): After 12 years as County Manager in Brunswick County, Marty Lawing has submitted his resignation, according to WECT. Lawing has accepted a job as County Manager in Guilford County. Reports say Lawing will make $183,000 in his new position, which will begin May 6th. His last day in Brunswick County is May 3. Commissioners in Guilford County voted 6-3 Thursday night to hire Lawing to replace Brenda Jones-Fox, who retired. Guilford County has a nine member commission, compared to the five members that serve in Brunswick County. No word on who will take over Lawing’s position in Brunswick County on an interim basis.

St. Mary’s County, Maryland (population 107,484): The St. Mary’s County Commissioners have appointed Dr. Rebecca Bridgett as county administrator to replace the late County Administrator John Savich, according to The Bay Net. Bridgett is a former Charles County Administrator who was fired from the position on a 3-2 vote in June of last year. County Human Resources Director Sue Sabo has been acting county administrator since Savich’s passing away. After her firing Bridgett was named acting director of the Human Resources and Administrative Services Division of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. Before being appointed county administrator in 2009, Dr. Bridget was director of the Charles County Department of Social Services for five years. Before that she was acting executive director of the Maryland Social Services Administration, Department of Human Resources where she provided key leadership on child welfare policy development and was responsible for a staff of 50, according to a press release from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. Bridgett’s firing as Charles County administrator was controversial. After her firing Bridgett’s attorney Roger Fink, a former county attorney, said the majority of the commissioners violated the notification provisions of her contract by failing to give her notice and time to resign rather than be fired. On Tuesday with the announcement of Bridgett’s hiring as the new St. Mary’s County Administrator, Commissioner Lawrence Jarboe (R: 3) said, “Charles County’s loss will be our gain.” He added that it was good to see that a woman like Bridgett competed with a number of applicants “and rose to the top on her qualifications.” Dr. Bridget holds a Doctor of Education from NOVA Southeastern University and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.

Cambridge, Massachusetts (population 106,038): When this city’s next manager takes over this summer, he will wade into a long, sticky controversy over the walloping salary that the post commands, according to The Boston Globe. Richard C. Rossi, a longtime deputy city manager, signed a three-year contract that guarantees a $330,000 annual salary, by far the highest paid to a Massachusetts municipal manager and nearly twice that of Mayor ­Thomas M. Menino of Boston. Rossi will make less than the outgoing city manager, Robert Healy, who makes $347,000 a year and is leaving the position at the end of June. Rossi says the demanding nature of the job justifies the high pay, but his compensation package has reignited criticism that taxpayers are funding a grossly inflated salary. Now, some members of the City Council, which voted 7 to 2 in February to approve Rossi’s contract, concede that the salary is high and are weighing how to curb the manager’s ballooning salary. Cambridge, a nationally recognized city of 105,000 people, is home to Harvard, MIT, and a booming biotech industry. It is hailed for its prized bond ratings and revenue-generating property taxes. For the past several years it has been on a building boom, with a new public safety building, youth and recreational ­facilities, and major renovations to its library and high school. Residents have shown their approval with high marks on city-conducted surveys. Rossi, who started collecting trash for the city some 42 years ago, became deputy in 1981 and is now paid $287,000. As chief executive, a role Rossi will assume July 1, he will set policies, submit annual budgets, and appoint heads of city ­departments and boards. In an interview last week, Rossi stressed his commitment to maintaining the city’s fiscal strength and said he remains committed to delivering high-quality service and responsiveness to residents. Rossi also defended his salary, saying that running a city is demanding work that requires expertise in planning, personnel management, and economic development. Rossi’s contract includes a city-owned car, cellphones, and tablet computers. He will have a life insurance policy of $120,000. The city has agreed to pay additional monthly retirement benefits. Mayor Henrietta Davis, who hails Rossi as a strong visionary and leader for the city, said that outgoing manager Healy, who lives in Lowell, stayed in the job for three decades and that ­annual pay increases pushed his high salary ever higher. ­Rossi, who lives in Watertown, has been the deputy since 1981. Both men have received cost of living and other salary adjustments over the years. In ­addition, Healy received a 3 percent salary increase on June 1, 2009 as well as on Jan. 1, 2010, 2011, and 2012, according to his contract. Minka vanBeuzekom, also on the City Council, noted that Rossi’s salary is fixed for the three years of his contract and does not allow for the usual pay increases. For some residents, however,  the high salary is unsettling. Some had hoped that when Healy announced his retirement, the council would use the opportunity to open the search outside City Hall. Frederic Turkington , president of the Massachusetts Municipal Management Association, said the administrator’s salary is comparable to that of other chief executives in similarly sized cities in California, Arizona, and Texas. Unlike elected officials, who are usually underpaid, city managers are comparable to a superintendent of a school department or a general manager of a mass transit system who deserve higher pay, said Turkington. But even by those criteria, Rossi comes out on top. Beverly Scott, general manager of the MBTA, is paid $220,000 annually and the superintendent of Boston public schools makes $266,750.

College Station, Texas (population 95,142): The College Station City Council voted on Thursday to drop the “interim” designation for acting City Manager Frank Simpson, according to The Eagle. The council voted unanimously to place Simpson into the top spot following its executive session. The governing body decided to internally promote Simpson without a search for applicants, a move that prompted a round of applause from the council chamber. It is unclear how much Simpson will make in the position. City officials said the selection was made without determining the salary. They said it would likely be comparable to former City Manager David Neeley, who earned $171,000 annually, including benefits. Berry was noncommittal on when a contract would be finalized, but said she hoped to sit down with Simpson on Monday after the Good Friday holiday. Prior to taking over for Neeley on January 11, Simpson served as deputy city manager for two years. He came to College Station after working from 2004 to 2011 as city manager of Missouri City, a suburb of approximately 67,000 near Houston. Before that, he served for four years as city manager of Webster, a smaller suburb of Houston with a population of 10,000. Simpson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in public administration from Texas A&M. He and his wife, Kelly, have three children. The council’s decision came as a surprise to city staff, notably Simpson. He said he was excited about the new role.

Moore County, North Carolina (population 89,352): The Moore County Board of Commissioners has named Tax Administrator Wayne Vest the new county manager, according to The Pilot. Vest, who has served as interim county manager since December, was chosen during a closed session meeting prior to Tuesday’s regular meeting of the board. The new manager said he foresaw “no big changes” in his new role. Vest initially took the place of the late Jim Westbrook, who died in an automobile accident on Nov. 27, the day after Westbrook began his duties as interim manager. The previous county manager, Cary McSwain, retired Nov. 30. Commissioners’ Chairman Nick Picerno praised Vest as the person that board members hoped would accept the county manager position. Picerno said the board, convinced that Vest was the best choice for the position, never reached the interview stage with other applicants. Other board members congratulated Vest on his new position. Commissioner Jimmy Melton said that Vest’s credentials reflect well on all county employees.

Rio Rancho, New Mexico (population 89,320): O’Fallon’s (MO) former city administrator has found a new position as city manager for Rio Rancho, New Mexico, a suburb of Albuquerque, according to the O’FallonPatch. Riesberg was terminated from his position in O’Fallon on Jan. 10 by a vote of the O’Fallon City Council. He took over as O’Fallon city administrator in January 2010, having previously serviced as city manager for Sedalia, Missouri, since 2005. The Albuquerque Journal reported that Riesberg was the top candidate of 30 who applied for the position. He received a unanimous vote of approval from the Rio Rancho city council. Rio Rancho, with a population of 87,000 is comparable in size to O’Fallon, with a population of 80,000. Rio Rancho’s previous city administrator retired “involuntarily” this past July, the Journal reported. Riesberg will see a $25,000 per year pay increase from his position in O’Fallon, a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Riesberg’s salary in New Mexico will be $150,000 per year.

Cayuga County, New York (population 79,738): After spending nearly three years as Cayuga County administrator, Tom Squires is leaving to pursue new opportunities, according to The Auburn Citizen. Joseph Runkle, deputy chairman of the Legislature, said Squires told county department heads about his decision during a meeting Wednesday. Confirming his planned departure, Squires declined commenting on where he planned to work, simply stating “I have a fantastic opportunity.” However, The Citizen has confirmed that Squires has accepted a job at Mohawk Valley Community College. In an internal email, dated Thursday, Feb. 21, President Randall VanWagoner told the Utica college’s employees that Squires accepted his offer to serve as MVCC’s new vice president for administrative services. Squires started working for the county in 2010, becoming the second person to serve as county administrator. He succeed Wayne Allen, who was fired without public explanation in 2009. Before working for Cayuga County, Squires served as Onondaga County’s deputy comptroller for about 13 years. And according to the email, he has worked as an adjunct faculty member at Bryant-Stratton College for many years. Reflecting on his time in Cayuga County, Squires said the time he spent working as county administrator “has been the best” chapter in his career history. Although he said he was excited about his new job, he said he was sad to leave behind a great group of coworkers. Before April 12 — his last day as county administrator — Squires said he wants to help the county fix its emergency communications system and see the Legislature decide whether it should merge the Cayuga County Nursing Home with Mercy Health & Rehabilitation Center. In the meantime, Runkle said the Legislature plans to seek a successor. To put steam into the search process, he said the Legislature is currently working to form a search committee.

Manassas, Virginia (39,300): Manassas city manager John Budesky announced at Monday’s city council meeting that he would resign from his post to take care of an ailing family member, according to the ManassasPatch. Budesky made the announcement just days after his one-year anniversary with the city. He told city council members Monday that his decision to leave wasn’t an easy one. Budesky is relocating to Hanover to be near the sick family member and has accepted another position in the Richmond area. Budesky joined the city March 5, 2012 replacing interim city manager Patricia A. Weiler who was serving in place of former city manager Larry Hughes who retired. City Council stands behind Budesky’s decision and will work with him over the next 90 days through the adoption of the budget and the Capital Improvement Plan. In the next few weeks the City Council will be exploring many options including interim possibilities as well as a long-term solution. The selection process will be thoughtful, yet expeditious when considering the next city manager, according to a release issued Tuesday afternoon by the city. In the last year, Budesky led the city through the development of a Vision and Priorities Implementation Plan, introduced an award-winning Capital Improvement Program in partnership with Manassas City Public Schools, built bridges with the business community and introduced a balanced budget consistent with the priorities of the city council, according to the release.

Merriville, Indiana (population 35,215): Town Administrator Howard Fink is leaving his position to take another job within the same field, according to the NW Times. Fink’s last day with Merrillville will be April 9, he said. Fink has handled Merrillville’s daily operations as town administrator. He said he is thankful for the opportunity he had to serve the community. Fink joined Merrillville about seven years ago. He started as the town’s community development director in the Planning and Building Department. At the end of 2008, Fink’s responsibilities increased when he became town administrator. Fink said there have been many “accomplishments and successes” during his service with the town. He said Merrillville’s financial situation is among the areas in which he helped improve. Councilman Tom Goralczyk said Merrillville is losing a “valuable asset” with Fink’s departure. Goralczyk said Fink attracted many developments to the town. Fink thinks Merrillville has shown it’s “pro-economic development.” He said it’s been “a team effort” to bring businesses to the community. In addition to his colleagues in Merrillville, Fink said he will miss the “meaningful friendships” he made in the town and Northwest Indiana. Although he didn’t live in Merrillville, Fink believes he was considered part of the community. The Town Council will meet in executive session next week to determine how it will proceed with filling the position, Goralczyk said.

Texarkana, Arkansas (population 30,177): Mayor Wayne Smith held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce the departure of City Manager Harold Boldt, according to KTBS. The decision to part ways was made Monday night during an executive session with the Board of Directors. City officials anticipate naming an interim city manager later this week. Mayor Smith says the interim city manager will not be an employee of Texarkana, Arkansas. When discussing the city manager’s departure, Mayor Smith told reporters that management styles sometimes get stagnated. City officials will soon be deciding on a search committee for a new city manager. Boldt had been with the city since 2005. In a telephone interview, Boldt said he had resigned from office and was most proud of his accomplishments with the Crossroads Business Park. Mayor Smith says the terms of agreement between Board of Directors and the former City Manager are still being finalized.

Garden City, Michigan (population 27,408): The Garden City Council voted Monday evening to have Robert Muery as its new permanent city manager with a split vote, according to the Observer & Eccentric. Negotiations now must take place with Muery who has been the acting city manager, wants to remain its police chief. Councilwoman Patricia Squires made the motion which was supported by Councilwoman Jaylee Lynch to name Muery the city manager. Council members Joanne Dodge, Michael Jones, and Mayor Randy Walker supported Muery while David Fetter and Jim Kerwin voted no. Fetter had made a motion to support Jade Smith, the deputy mayor of Westland, but that motion went nowhere. Smith came in first overall with scores cast after interviews with seven candidates. Scott Randall of Arkansas came in third in the scores. There was also a concern expressed that the scores seemed manipulated by some council members to show unusually high or low scores for some candidates. It prompted Jones to suggest dismissing the highest and lowest scored candidates.  What followed was a discussion by Fetter that Muery’s holding both positions fell within the confines of the Incompatible Public Offices Act, PA 566 of 1978 which says that cities with less than 25,000 people can have these dual roles, if needed, but not those with a higher population. Garden City has 27,000 people.  Fettger said that he wouldn’t support something that he viewed as illegal — one position is subordinate to the other. Fetter said that the law has been upheld by the Michigan Supreme Court and upheld in an opinion by City Attorney Tim Cronin. There is a concern, if a potential future conflict. Lynch, however, said that there are other cases where a person held both dual jobs in Garden City that didn’t violate the incompatibility act, although she agreed that there could come a time when there is a problem. She said that each must be considered individually on a case-by-case basis. Walker said that the council picks and chooses what attorney opinion it chooses to support. Likewise, Dodge said the information she has read “goes all over the place.” Lynch further maintained that having Muery continue with both jobs meets Governor Rick Snyder’s direction that municipalities find ways to consolidate to save money. Muery has served in both positions since Garden City Manager Darwin McClary was first suspended in August and then fired on Sept. 24. Kerwin said that Muery is a fine city manager but added that he didn’t want to “violate the law.” Muery said after the meeting that his interest in serving in both positions was to continue to save the city money. In the end, all council members congratulated Muery and wished him well. Resident Dick King said that it appears that the council violated the charter by unknowingly placing Muery in the dual position. Resident Ray Wiacek urged residents to view this meeting two or three times to see if they could make any sense out of it.

Temple Terrace, Florida (population 25,314): The City Council has hired the head of Tampa Bay Water as its new city manager, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Gerald Seeber got the nod after the council’s first two picks for the job bowed out. He expects to start work in Temple Terrace at the end of April. Seeber has more than 25 years’ experience as a city manager, including stints in New Port Richey and Oviedo, near Orlando. He said he had missed the pace and give-and-take of city government during his five years as general manager of Tampa Bay Water, supplier of wholesale water to governments in the Tampa Bay area. Temple Terrace Mayor Frank Chillura said he and the council are excited about Seeber. Seeber, 59, who will be paid $135,000 annually, replaces longtime city manager Kim Leinbach, who is retiring. The City Council voted to negotiate with Seeber when two candidates from Arizona dropped out. The first candidate, Jeff Mihelich, assistant city manager of Surprise, Ariz., told council members he had to decline the offer because his daughter wanted to finish high school in Arizona. The second candidate, Dana Hlavac, deputy county manager for Mohave County, Ariz., could not provide a commitment in the time period the council had set, Chillura said. Seeber said he was “perfectly okay” with being the third choice, adding that in the public search for city managers, such a situation is not unusual. Seeber served as city manager of Oviedo from 2004 to 2008 and New Port Richey from 1988 to 2004. Seeber served as village manager of Brown Deer, Wis., from 1982 to 1988. He graduated from Marquette University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and earned a postgraduate degree in public administration from Pennsylvania State University in 1978. The new manager said that while Temple Terrace, like all Florida cities, suffered from the recession, the city’s tax base was strong. Seeber said he and his wife, Denise — parents of four grown children — are planning to put their Safety Harbor home on the market and move to Temple Terrace. He had informed Tampa Bay Water board members earlier this year that he was looking for a job in city government, he said, so this move was not a surprise to them. Chillura said Seeber’s knowledge of water issues will be a boon to Temple Terrace, and he has a good working relationship with a number of officials in the Tampa Bay area.

Reading, Massachusetts (population 24,747): The Board of Selectmen, by unanimous vote, have named Assistant Town Manager Bob LeLacheur to be Reading’s next town manager, according to the Boston Globe. LeLacheur, who was among three finalists for the position, will replace Peter I. Hechenbleikner when he retires in June after serving as town manager for 26 years. A screening committee, with help from a consultant, whittled a list of about 25 candidates down to the final three. The other finalists were Abington Town Manager John D’Agostino and Lunenberg Town Manager Kerry Speidel. LeLacheur has worked in Reading since 2005. Prior to that, he was a portfolio manager and partner for Merganser Capital Management Inc. in Cambridge and Boston. He also had worked on Wall Street, at Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers.

El Segundo, California (population 16,775): As homecomings go, the situation Greg Carpenter landed in a year ago wasn’t particularly sweet, according to Easy Reader. Carpenter was named El Segundo’s city manager while the city was in the midst of a dispute with its historical benefactor and biggest business – Chevron, which actually named the town in 1917 after it established its second refinery here. Perhaps even more significantly, the Great Recession had hit El Segundo particularly hard, forcing city government to reduce its size from 320 fulltime employees to 260 while still attempting to deliver similar service levels. Carpenter, who graduated from El Segundo High in the Class of ’82, had never expected to return home as city manager. He’d left to go to college at Long Beach State University, where he studied Geography. He subsequently worked 18 years for the City of Long Beach – and two years in Lawndale – working his way up through the ranks to become planning manager. He loved the satisfaction of seeing projects come to fruition in the planning sphere and didn’t have a particular ambition to go any higher in city government. In 1998, Carpenter achieved his dream of bringing his wife and two sons back to his hometown to live as he commuted to Long Beach. Then, in 2008, he was hired as planning manager in El Segundo. Last year, he became an obvious choice to step in and calm the turbulent waters that had overtaken the city in the wake of its economic troubles and dispute with Chevron. A year later, the city is emerging from its economic difficulties, and peace with Chevron has been established in a deal that is expected to net the city $134 million in additional taxes over the next 15 years. Broader forces are at work in both issues, of course, but Carpenter’s steady hand has been a key part of the equation. Council person Marie Fellhauer said that Carpenter has been the right person at the right time and place for the city. His hometown roots, she said, have made for a seamless fit. A wall-sized overhead photo of the five square miles that is El Segundo hangs on the wall of the city manager’s office. Carpenter seems to know every square inch. He points to one particular area with special fondness, the far west stretch of Hillcrest Street – his childhood home, which at that time was the far west of the city itself. Carpenter actually had some kind of a presentiment for his City Hall. As a high school senior, he took part in a career week in which students were assigned to a department head and had to write a staff report to present to a mock city council also comprised of students. Three decades later, the actual El Segundo City Council asked its planning director to take over as interim city manager after abruptly parting ways with former city manager Doug Willmore. As Carpenter took the helm, council members realized they’d found their city manager. Carpenter, who also obtained his master’s in public administration at LBSU, is in some ways still a geographer at heart. One of the many things he loves about his job is that he’s still learning things about the geography of El Segundo – for instance, the fact that Grand Avenue as it slopes towards the ocean is no longer El Segundo, but Los Angeles. He also had identified part of what makes the city, with its nighttime population of 16,700 residents and daytime workforce of roughly 70,000 people, so utterly unique. All four city borders – Chevron along the south, Hyperion and NRG along the west, LAX north, and the aerospace industry east – in some sense seal off the old-fashioned little town in the middle from the outside world. As city manager, what strikes Carpenter most, and what he is most grateful for, he said, are the people he is serving – not just the five direct bosses he has in the City Council, but the entire residential and business community. Part of the ethos of city hall in El Segundo has long been a certain no-nonsense practicality – the city was first in L.A. County awarded as the most business-friendly and has again been nominated for the award because of its relative lack of red tape and delay. A project that might take six months to be inspected and approved in Los Angeles is often handled in days in El Segundo. For Carpenter, this is a key part of the city’s uniqueness, and it’s reflective of his own character, as well: Both the city and its manager work with little fanfare but instead focus on moving forward. Fuentes said that the city’s organization has come to reflect Carpenter, as well. She noted that the confidence he has inspired in employees, and the pride he takes in their work, has been a key factor in his success as city manager. Fellhauer said that Carpenter’s calm, and care, have been especially valuable at city hall. Carpenter credits others for much of what has gone well. He said his wife of 25 years, Julie, who works professionally as a human resources director, makes his life easier by keeping the family’s home front organized. And he credits the council, city employees, and the community itself. More than anything, as Carpenter feels a sense of gratitude for finding himself somewhat unexpectedly as the city manager of the town he loves best.

Hastings, Minnesota (population 22,359): In March of 1989, Dave Osberg took a new job. He had been working in St. James when the city administrator position in Hastings opened up, according to the Hastings Star Gazette. City Hall had a much different dynamic back then. There was significant unrest in the council prior to Osberg’s hiring, and it continued in some measure into the first part of his career here. Anyone who came into his position would have had a tough time, Osberg said. On Friday, Osberg will put in his last day as Hastings City Administrator, two days past his 24-year anniversary. His next project will be leading staff in the City of Eagan as that city’s administrator. The option to take the job in Eagan came at just the perfect time for Osberg to make the change. Back in 2000, Osberg applied for a position in Maplewood, but the timing just wasn’t right. Now that all of his children are grown – his youngest recently started college – it’s much easier for him to shift his career. Had Eagan’s former administrator retired either a few years sooner or later, Osberg said he’s not sure he would have made the move. Twenty-four years is a lot of time to rack up some significant accomplishments, and Osberg certainly has a few. His best memories, he said, are working with the people. Many of the people he’s worked with over the years have become more than just co-workers or business contacts; they’ve become friends, he said, and he expects those friendships to continue even after he moves to Eagan. Osberg has helped the city on several key projects throughout the years. One of his early projects was working on moving City Hall from Sibley Street (in what is now the Onion Grille) to its current location along Fourth Street. It took two to three years to secure the building. Mid-way through his career here, Osberg worked on annexing about 160 acres of land that is now the Wallin Development in west Hastings. It took several people to make that project a reality, with lots of negotiations between homeowners and the Catholic church. Osberg remembers driving home after the project was completed and stopping at the intersection of 15th Street and General Sieben Drive. That day, he got out of his vehicle and walked into the freshly paved intersection, reflecting on the process that made that very road and realizing that he had helped make it happen. More recently, Osberg has been part of another “fun project,” the acquisition of the former Hudson building in downtown Hastings. It’s a great feeling to know he had something to do with that, Osberg said. While Osberg has had his share of good memories, the top staff position in the city isn’t without challenges. The most difficult issues Osberg has had to deal with have been related to personnel. He can generally tell when one of those issues is at hand. Osberg keeps his office door open, and whenever someone closes it to talk to him, nine out of 10 times he can expect to be talking about people, he said. He recalled one of his earliest projects, back in 1989. Just 30 years old and new to Hastings and the job, he got thrown into the fire with a pair of development projects. The Housing and Redevelopment Authority (the predecessor of the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority) was working on a possible hotel development and a senior housing development. While adjusting to his new position, Osberg had another detail to overcome. He had been hired in March of 1989, but didn’t move his young family to Hastings until May. For about two months, he lived with friends and family in Hastings during the week and would go back home for the weekends. Through it all, though, he had the help of other staff here and the city council. When Osberg takes his new job in Eagan, it will be a return to the city. He worked for the city from 1981 to 1982 as an administrative and planning assistant. He remembers one of the projects he worked on back then, a request for proposals for architects interested in drafting plans for Eagan’s new city hall. He worked with Eagan’s former administrator, Tom Hedges, back then, and the two became good friends. Hedges became both a personal and professional mentor to Osberg. Osberg said he knew that if Hedges were to retire, it would mean he would have a major decision to make – either stay in Hastings or enter the running to replace Hedges. On Monday evening, Osberg sat at his final city council meeting. The city council made significant and sometimes lighthearted efforts to express its thanks and appreciation for Osberg’s leadership over the years. Council members individually thanked him for his professionalism, positive attitude, respect for city staff, trustworthiness, commitment and dedication. Mayor Paul Hicks, elected to the council in 1990, has been a part of Hastings government almost as long as Osberg. Osberg gave an emotional response. When he started working for the City of Hastings, he said, he didn’t know how welcoming the people here would be of him and his family, how many personal and professional growth opportunities there would be, how serious the community would be about electing committed officials and that he would be leading such dedicated employees. Had he known all that, he might have expected his stay here to be as long as it has been today. He specifically thanked four people. He thanked Hicks for his leadership, support, guidance and friendship. He thanked Ed Riveness, the only council member who was around when Osberg was hired, for taking a chance on the 30-year-old from St. James and for being such a rock on the council. He thanked Tom Montgomery, the staff member he’s worked with the longest. And he thanked Melanie Mesko Lee for helping him overcome his mid-career struggles when she joined the city 14 years ago. Osberg also thanked his family – his wife, Laurie, and four children for their patience and support. He shared with the council and public a card his daughter sent before he accepted the position in Eagan. It read, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Osberg expressed his heartfelt thanks, “and I wish all of you nothing but the best,” he said.

Riverdale, Georgia (population 15,251): Longtime Riverdale City Manager Iris Jessie has resigned her position after almost nine years on the job, said officials, according to the Clayton News Daily. Mayor Dr. Evelyn Wynn-Dixon said Jessie resigned in “excellent standing” with the city. Wynn-Dixon said Jessie didn’t give a reason for leaving. Jessie couldn’t be reached for comment. No other members of Council could be reached for comment. Council approved hiring Jessie in May 2004. She was one of 63 people who applied for the job and one of only five interviewed by city officials. Jessie came to Riverdale from an assistant city manager’s position in Norfolk, Va., a job she held for more than five years. Her three-year contract became effective June 7, 2004, and gave her an annual salary of $90,000 plus benefits. Riverdale paid up to $3,000 for her moving expenses, provided her with a $600 monthly car allowance and immediately gave her 20 days vacation. Wynn-Dixon was not mayor at the time but said Jessie became a mentor for her when she took office in 2008. Wynn-Dixon said Council will announce the interim city manager next week. Council meets in regular session April 8 but could hold a special called meeting if needed before then. She didn’t say when the hunt would begin for a permanent city manager but pointed out that Jessie has left an enduring legacy.

Abington, Massachusetts (population 14,605): The Abington Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday to hire Carver town administrator Richard J. LaFond as the new town manager effective July 1, pending successful contract negotiations, according to the Boston Globe. LaFond has been town administrator in Carver since 1996 and he served as executive secretary for Abington for two years prior to that. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stonehill College, earned a master’s in public administration from Suffolk University, and has worked in area town governments for the past 24 years. LaFond and his wife, Julie, have two teenage sons. After voting to hire LaFond, the board went into executive session to discuss negotiations. LaFond said he’d like to settle soon on a contract, then start building good will in Abington. Outgoing town manager John D’Agostino’s tenure ends June 30.

Martinsville, Virginia (population 13,559): Martinsville City Council is promoting Leon Towarnicki to city manager, according to the Martinsville Bulletin. Following a closed session held to discuss a personnel matter, the council voted (unanimously) Tuesday night to promote Towarnicki to the city’s top administrative post. Towarnicki has worked for the city since 1982. He was the city engineer before he was promoted to public works director two years later. He was named assistant city manager in 2007. He has held the title of interim city manager since former city manager Clarence Monday left in January 2012.

Kingsburg, California (population 11,537): Kingsburg City Manager Don Pauley announced his retirement, effective July 19, at the Kingsburg City Council meeting on March 20, according to The Kingsburg Recorder. Pauley has served 13 years as Kingsburg’s city manager and has 37 years total of city management experience. In a letter to the City Council announcing his retirement, Pauley wrote that the time had come for him to retire. Pauley said he was grateful for the opportunities he has had to serve the citizens of the communities in which he has worked. He said he appreciated working with Kingsburg city employees and said they were “model employees and public servants.” Pauley, and his wife, Peggy, plan to continue living in Kingsburg and “remain active and informed residents.” Michelle Roman, mayor pro tem of Kingsburg, said she wishes Pauley “the best” on his retirement.

Castle Pines, Colorado (population 10,602): It was a short tenure for the latest Castle Pines city manager when Ted Soltis resigned after six months on the job, according to Our Colorado News. Soltis is the second full-time city manager to leave the City of Castle Pines since 2010, said Mayor Jeffrey Huff. The previous manager, James McGrady, served in the position from 2010 to 2012. McGrady served as an interim city manager in a role the city knew would be temporary, Huff said. Before McGrady, the city contracted its managers through a corporate agreement with CH2MHill, he said. Huff declined to say how many city managers have served in Castle Pines, but public records indicate at least four people have served since the city’s 2008 incorporation. Soltis signed his contract with the city in August 2012 for a term that began in September 2012. He resigned Feb. 26, according to an announcement from city council. When he came to Castle Pines, Soltis received a relocation bonus of $12,500, according to his employment agreement. The agreement stipulates that if he leaves the city before one year, he will return his bonus on a pro rata basis at the rate of $1,041 per month for each month remaining in the first year of his employment. Soltis earned $8,500 per month and was required to give the city a 45-day notice before resigning. His departure came shortly after his six-month anniversary with the city, at which time he was to undergo a performance review, according to his contract. Three members of city council are assembling parameters for the process to select a new city manager, Huff said. The city does not expect to replace Soltis before August, Huff said. Staff members and residents are instructed to go to city council members with any concerns or questions.

D’Iberville, Mississippi (population 9,690): Michael Janus has been fired from his job as city manager in D’Iberville, according to the Mississippi Business Journal. The mayor and board of aldermen took the action Wednesday in an ongoing dispute over an agreement that Janus signed with a Pascagoula consulting firm. At a meeting last month, Janus said he never notified the city council about that deal, and he never got city approval. City officials tell The Sun Herald Janus will be paid through July 1 when his contract expires. Sharron Perkins will continue as D’Iberville’s interim city manager. Janus took a leave of absence in February when the contract issue arose. Although the council members hadn’t voted on the contract with Maxwell-Walker Consultants, they agreed to pay the firm a $180,000 finder’s fee for obtaining a $3 million BP grant to cover some of the city’s cost for the Ocean Expo aquarium. Mayor Rusty Quave said the FBI has joined the investigation and has been to City Hall. Last week, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said the city has 30 days to return $1.4 million of that $3 million BP grant and may require repayment of $945,000 more if the city can’t provide additional documentation. Quave said he and other city officials met with MDEQ this week in Jackson, but wouldn’t disclose the details of the meeting. In an email to the Sun Herald following Wednesday’s meeting, Janus said the council had authorized him to enter into contracts.

Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia (population 9,342): One hour after Clay Kissner was sworn in as Fort Oglethorpe’s new city councilman, the council forced the resignation of seasoned City Manager Ron Goulart, according to the Times Free Press. Moments later the council named Harold Silcox, a former City Council member, as interim city manager. Within 30 minutes, Silcox fired two longtime department heads. Goulart, who was given four months severance pay, and Police Chief David Eubanks and Public Works Director Jeff Long, who were not given severance pay, say politics was at work. Even one councilman claims Friday afternoon’s speedy house cleaning will set the city back for years. For the last five months, the council has been two members short and has deadlocked on key issues such as Sunday alcohol sales. Former Councilman Eddie Stinnett died of a heart attack in October, and Charles Sharrock was ousted the same month after sexual harassment claims. His seat hasn’t been filled. In a special election Tuesday, voters elected Kissner to fill Stinnett’s seat. He was appointed at 2 p.m. Friday, an hour before council members held the special meeting. The meeting — which was noted on a bulletin board but not announced in a public notice to the media like normal practice — was called by Mayor Lynn Long. Goulart announced his resignation when the council emerged from an executive session. Lynn Long then made a motion for Silcox, who was sitting in the audience, to fill Goulart’s position. Gray was the only council member to object, and when he tried to have an open discussion in the meeting about both Goulart’s resignation and Silcox’s appointment, he was shushed. The councilmen quickly emptied the room after the meeting, some denying requests for comment on their decision. When asked whether Goulart was forced to resign, Lynn Long repeated: “That was his decision. That was his decision.” But Goulart said that on Thursday he was confronted by the mayor, who came to his office and told him to resign or be fired. After Friday’s meeting, the newly appointed interim city manager took Eubanks and Jeff Long into a City Hall office. First Silcox fired Eubanks and then Jeff Long — breaking policy in the city’s charter. City policy states that when a city employee is fired, officials must give the reasons in writing along with instruction that the employee has 15 days to appeal. Neither Long nor Eubanks said they were given a reason in writing. Jeff Long, who is also a Catoosa County Commission member, said he was told the reason he was fired was for making a motion on the county panel that hurt Fort Oglethorpe. Earlier this month, Catoosa County officials asked local lawmakers for legislation to deannex 42 acres of prime real estate on Battlefield Parkway. If passed, Fort Oglethorpe would lose all property and sales tax revenue. When Silcox was questioned about who was in charge of the police force, he mistakenly said “Eubanks.” Then corrected himself and said talk to the mayor. Before City Hall was closed for the weekend, city employees sat frozen in their chairs with shocked faces. Police officers stood outside the meeting hall with arms crossed. A woman walked up to Goulart and hugged him, saying, “I’m terribly, terribly sorry for what they’ve done to you.”

Augusta, Kansas (population 9,265): At the conclusion of Monday night’s City Council agenda and taking care of business items, Augusta Mayor Kristey Williams called for a 10 minute executive session concerning a non-elected personnel matter, according to the Augusta Gazette. Following the executive session, City Manager Bill Keefer announced his resignation. Keefer’s letter did not include any specific reason for his decision, but at the Jan. 7th council meeting there was controversy concerning the renewal of his contract. After attempting unsuccessfully to negotiate the city manager’s contract in a public meeting, the governing body finally agreed to extend Bill Keefer’s contract for one year including a two percent merit pay increase. Following two noisy executive sessions, Councilor Matt Childers made a motion to extend Keefer’s contract for employment for two years including the two percent merit pay increase. Mike Rawlings seconded the motion that failed 2-5 with Mike Martin, Matt Malone, Mike Huddleston, Sue Jones, and Mike Wallace voting against renewing the contract. At that point, Wallace made a motion that attempted to amend the contract between Keefer and the city. Childers interjected and asked for legal counsel from City Attorney David All. Childers was concerned about benefits being taken out of the contract. All explained that the question was over a clause that protects the city manager from termination by paying his salary and medical insurance for a year should he be terminated or if his contract is not renewed. If Keefer chose to, he would be able to work as an “at will” employee. After lengthy discussion Mayor Kristey Williams called for a vote on the motion to extend the contract. It passed 5-2 with Huddleston and Martin voting against renewing the contract. Missing council members at Monday night’s meeting were Mike Huddleston, Mike Wallace, and Matt Malone.

Park City, Utah (population 7,822): Diane Foster, who has served as the interim Park City manager since last fall, on Monday was named to the permanent position, completing a five-year climb up the ranks at the Marsac Building, according to The Park Record. Foster had been the deputy city manager and was previously the environmental sustainability manager. She joined City Hall in 2008 in the environmental position. A prepared statement issued by City Hall indicated the Park City Council will vote on an employment contract on Thursday. Foster will succeed Tom Bakaly. He was the city manager between 2003 and his departure in 2012 to become the top municipal staffer in Hermosa Beach, Calif. Mayor Dana Williams and the City Council conducted a national search for a city manager in 2012, but it did not result in a hiring. The elected officials then opted to conduct an internal search prior to a second national one if it was needed. An undisclosed number of staffers applied for the position.

LaFayette, Georgia (population 7,111): LaFayette city manager Frank Etheridge is being let go, following an executive session of the city council Monday, March 25, according to CatWalkChatt. The council met Monday night to go over the official audit for the city’s budget year 2012. The audit, performed as in years prior by CPA Lloyd Williamson of Williamson & Co. CPA in Cartersville, examined the city’s finances from October 2011 to September 2012. The audit showed that the city had lost less revenue in budget year 2012 than in any of the four years prior. Etheridge was hired by the city of LaFayette in October 2011. He replaced the previously-ousted manager Johnny Arnold. As of this afternoon, neither mayor Neal Florence nor any of the city council members who were reached would give a public statement on Etheridge. Council member Wayne Swanson said officials had been advised by the city attorney not to make any comments on the matter.

Union Gap, Washington (population 6,145): New Union Gap City Manager Rod Otterness will make $90,000 a year, according to city officials. The contract was approved March 11 — well ahead of schedule — when all eight council members voted in favor of the contract, according to the Yakima Herald. City officials previously said they expected contract negotiations to go on until the end of March, but council member Dan Vanover and Mayor Roger Wentz said Otterness was more than agreeable in negotiations. Otterness, 56, who is finishing up his time as city manager in International Falls, Minn., will start his new position April 8. He said he wants to jump right into the job, but tempered any lofty expectations for the immediate future. The contract includes $5,000 for the cost of a 1,600-mile move to Central Washington, half of which Otterness would have to pay back if he leaves before three years on the job. Wentz said he has already seen good chemistry develop between Otterness and other city officials in their limited meetings. He said he believes Otterness will lead by example, as shown by his eagerness to keep contract negotiations simple. Interim city manager Chris Jensen, who doubled as the city’s Fire Department chief, had a contract that paid $110,000 per year. Jensen will relinquish his city manager duties when Otterness comes in but will remain as fire chief. Finalizing the contract was the last step in transitioning to a council-manager form of government after voters did away with the city’s strong mayor system in a proposition on the November ballot. The measure was approved only a year after the former Mayor Jim Lemon had been re-elected, but it was a year in which Lemon’s office was dogged by controversy over staff turnover and accusations of abuse. Lemon faces a reckless driving charge in a trial set for April 17. The charge stems from a November incident in which he is accused of peeling out of a parking lot and spraying a city public works employee with gravel following an argument. Otterness spent the last eight years as city manager for International Falls, but had been looking to move on for a while. Since December, he was a finalist for city manager positions in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Thief River Falls, Minn. Prior to that, he worked for city government in Buhl, Minn., and as an attorney for Grand Rapids and Hibbing, Minn. He also served as an analyst with Minnesota’s Department of Education. Otterness earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and international relations from the University of Minnesota, and a law degree in 1985 from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn.

Marion, Virginia (population 5,936): As John Clark prepares to retire, Bill Rush is stepping back into public administration, according to SW VA Today. For the next two weeks, the two men are working side by side as the town managers of Marion. At the end of its meeting Monday night, the Marion Town Council approved Bill Rush as the new town manager, pending a background check. The position is not Rush’s first in such a leadership position in Smyth County. He served as Chilhowie’s town manager for about five years. He stepped down in November 2006 to pursue a business venture oriented toward private economic development. Marion Mayor David Helms said the council received 25 applications and interviewed five candidates before deciding on Rush. Much of the meeting though was directed toward recognizing Clark, who will be retiring at month’s end. Monday’s meeting was his last council session after more than 12 years of serving Marion as its manager. When he was offered the Marion position, Clark said it had been a long-term personal goal to return as the town manager after his first job, which was a temporary position with the town of Marion. Suzanne Jennings, chair of the council’s personnel committee, praised Clark, citing his loyalty, dependability and honesty. Other council members echoed her comments. The council noted that Clark had earned his salary many times over in the grants and other funding he achieved for Marion. Helms remembered that the council told Clark when he was hired that its members would like him to bring home a Virginia Municipal League achievement award. He earned two for the town. But, Clark’s quality that the mayor most heralded was his honesty and willingness to admit his mistakes. Clark responded with appreciation for the council’s support. That statement echoed his concluding remarks in his final town manager’s report to council. Clark, a native of the Broadford community, graduated from Rich Valley High School and holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech. He joined Marion’s staff in November 2000 after serving four years as the town manager of Saltville. Like Rush, he had previously served as the town manager of Chilhowie and held the same post for the towns of Tazewell and Independence. He had also worked in public administration with the Mt. Rogers Planning District Commission.

Belding, Michigan (population 5,764): Members of the Belding City Council officially accepted a city manager contract with Margaret “Meg” Mullendore on Monday evening at the Pere Marquette Depot in Belding, according to The Daily News. In a unanimous vote, council members approved the two-year contract at the special meeting. According to the contract, Mullendore will receive a starting salary of $72,500 and upon receiving a “satisfactory” evaluation rating at six months she will receive an additional $2,500 to the salary. Council members also agreed on a 45 cents per mile allowance for city business purposes, two weeks vacation, life insurance, health insurance, retirement, sick and holiday pay, and maximum moving expenses of $3,500 with proof of receipts. Mullendore did not counter the contract that was originally sent to her following the March 19 meeting. Former city Manager Randy DeBruine was hired with a salary of $75,000 in 2004 and resigned in December 2012 with a salary of $93,000 on a contract that extended through 2014. Mullendore will officially start the position on April 8. Mayor Pro Tem Andrea Belding said was pleased to see the process to find a new city manager come to a close within the allotted 90 days for the process to be carried out. All council members said they were “satisfied” with the decision, siting various reasons ranging from potential savings of money to the city to the qualities that Mullendore will bring with her when she starts the position. Councilman Thomas Jones thanked City Clerk Kareen Thomas and Finance Director/Interim City Manager Sam Andres for their work during during the absence of a city manager.

Aurora, Nebraska (population 4,453): The Aurora City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to offer the job of city administrator to Marlan Ferguson of Grand Island, according to the Aurora News-Register. Three finalists interviewed over the last two days, and the council deliberated for approximately 30 minutes in executive session before announcing its decision. Contract negotiations will now begin with Ferguson in a process Mayor Marlin Seeman said he hopes will be finalized within the next few weeks.

Brandon, Vermont (population 3,966): Town officials have a lot of work ahead to find a replacement for Town Manager Keith Arlund, whose resignation is effective this weekend, according to the Rutland Herald. Arlund submitted his letter of resignation to the Select Board during an executive session March 11, taking board members by surprise. Friday morning, on his last day in the office, Arlund confirmed he is leaving, but did not comment as to the reasons why. He just said “it was time.” Selectman Devon Fuller, the board chairman, said Friday the board was not expecting Arlund’s resignation two weeks ago. Fuller said Arlund cited an opportunity in the private sector as the reason for leaving his post. The board will meet with representatives from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns to discuss what services and options are available for the town manager search. The board will also consider an interim town manager. Arlund was hired in 2004 after serving as interim town manager for four months while town officials looked to replace former town manager Michael Balch. At the time of his hiring, Arlund said there was a lot happening in Brandon and that he saw a lot of opportunity for him there. Prior to serving in Brandon, Arlund held the same post in Ludlow until 2002. He is a graduate of Vermont Law School and served six years in the military. Upcoming projects for the new town manager will include the reconstruction of Route 7, the water main project in the downtown area and the ongoing recovery from Tropical Storm Irene.

Yuma, Colorado (population 3,544): Sid Fleming is on the job, according to The Yuma Pioneer. Following an executive session during the Yuma City Council’s regular meeting on March 19, the council voted 6-0 to approve a contract between the city and Fleming as the new city manager. It then unanimously passed another motion appointing Fleming as the city manager with a starting annual salary of $70,000. Fleming was on the job Monday, providing a seamless transition as former city manager Doug Sanderson’s last day was Friday. He spent his first couple of days on the job visiting with employees and council members, and trying to meet others in the community. Though he comes from the Wichita, Kansas, area, small-town living is nothing new to Fleming, who grew up in Coldwater, Kansas, a town of about 900 near Greenburg. Fleming is married, and he and wife Sarah have three children, Thomas, who is 10 and currently in fourth grade, daughter Elsie, who is 8 and in second grade, and daughter Luna, who will turn 2 in about two weeks. They currently have to deal with being apart during the week, as Fleming’s family will stay in the Wichita area until after the school year is over. Fleming said modern technology is helping the family stay in contact. Fleming was working as an intern with the City of Newton in Kansas, a position he has been in just since January, before coming to Yuma. Before that, he spent a little more than two years as the interim division manager for sewage treatment, for the City of Wichita. He also was the biosolids supervisor, beginning in January 2007, and keeping that job while adding the sewage treatment manager position to his duties in September 2010. He left the City of Wichita in December 2012. Fleming first began working for Wichita’s municipal government in January 2004 as the industrial sampler. Fleming does have a varied background, including spending one school year as a chemistry and physics teacher at Lyons High School in Lyons, Kansas. His education includes receiving a degree in Biology/Chemistry from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, in May 1996, attending the Kansas University School of Medicine for 1-1/2 years, studying aboard for one semester in Bulgaria, and receiving a Masters of Public Administration in December 2011 from Wichita State University. It was while working toward his Master’s, Fleming said, that he decided he wanted to take a shot at city administration. For now, he is on a crash course of learning about the people and the city’s infrastructure.

Wells, Minnesota (population 2,336): The city administrator of Wells has been fired after a yet-unspecified complaint was lodged against him, according to The Free Press. The City Council met in closed session this week and unanimously decided to end the six-month tenure of Steve Bloom, effectively immediately. An employee in City Hall Thursday said further details will be revealed pending the return of the vacationing city attorney. City officials Thursday declined to comment on the nature of the complaint. Bloom came to the job with more than two decades of experience in city and county government and also was a teacher for six years. He was due for a six-month job review and had been working under probationary status. Bloom could not be reached for comment.

Monticello, Utah (population 1,981): Greg Westfall is the new Monticello City Manger, according to the San Juan Record. Westfall, who has worked for the city for the past three years, assumes the city manger position on April 1. He replaces Kelly Pehrson, who has been hired as the chief administrative officer for San Juan County. The hiring decision was announced at a special meeting of the city council on March 18. Westfall is currently the assistant city manager and recreation director. He was hired three years ago as recreation director and quickly moved into the assistant city manager position when Pehrson was hired as manager. Westfall is excited for the opportunity to be city manager. He mentioned a number of projects that will keep the city busy in the future, including the annexation of the Rocky Mountain Power substation, construction of the Big Four tractor building, metering of the secondary water system, construction of a community center / golf clubhouse, and continuing development of the city airport.
Westfall has a dual bachelors degree in business management and entrepreneurship from Colorado Mesa University and a masters degree in public management from Ashland University. He is married to Jennifer Redd Westfall and has two children.

Conway, Massachusetts (population 1,897): After 11 weeks without one, Conway has found its new town administrator, according to The Recorder. The development director of Community Health Center of Franklin County, Amanda Majewski-Winn, 27, of Bernardston will serve as the town’s most long-awaited employee. She’ll start the $50,000 salaried 37.5 hours a week job on April 8. The Selectboard unanimously voted to hire Majewski-Winn Monday night. Majewski-Winn sees her new job as a chance to work in the public sector again. She previously worked as the town administrative assistant for Pelham. From 2009 to 2011, she worked as the executive assistant for Greenfield Mayor William Martin — experience that attracted the search committee. After working for the mayor, Majewski-Winn tried her hand in the nonprofit sector at the Community Health Center based in Greenfield. The hiring of Majewski-Winn is a fresh start for Conway. On Jan. 7, the former town administrator, Edward MacDonald, resigned 47 days after starting the job. The Selectboard later discovered MacDonald had never quit his job as administrator in Chester — a promise he made when he accepted the position in the fall. In February, MacDonald slapped his former bosses with a lawsuit alleging they violated the state Open Meeting law and demanding a payout of $14,301 in wages and benefits MacDonald claims he’s owed. The Attorney General’s office is still investigating the allegation. Unlike her predecessor, Majewski-Winn said the Conway job will be her only job. Majewski-Winn is a 2006 graduate of Greenfield Community College. Originally of Sunderland, Majewski-Winn attended Frontier Regional School. She is married to Greenfield Fire Chief Michael Winn. From the start of the search process, Majewski-Winn was a favorite among the search committe. Majewski-Winn beat 17 applicants for the job, five of whom were interviewed by two search committee sub-committees. The search committee — made up of Rose, Selectmen Rick Bean, Jim Moore and John O’Rourke, Finance Committee member Andrea Llamas and Town Treasurer Jan Warner — split into two groups and held two preliminary screening interviews. The committee created sub-groups to avoid having to publicly announce candidate names. Majewski-Winn will have to hit the ground running. The town has been without any administrative help for two months in the height of the budget season. She also comes in the middle of the town’s big debate on the best use of the Rose property off Shelburne Falls Road — a fate that has perplexed the town since it received it in 2006. The town will also move to hire an administrative aide to handle clerical duties. The town has held off on the position until it hired an administrator.

La Pine, Oregon (population 1,681): Just a little over a year ago, La Pine hired Steve Hasson as its first city manager, according to KTVZ. But now he’s leaving for another adventure. Hasson told his staff about his resignation last week: He’ll be going to Portland to take care of a farm his wife inherited. He’ll stay for about another month, though, and that’s because Hasson says he still has a few tasks to finish up before he leaves. Among the many accomplishments Hasson is proud of: He helped the city assume sewer and water operations,and also helped transfer land use authority from the county and get grants for sidewalks to boost economic development. He said the city received $1 million last year that it can use for any number of things. In his last days on the job, Hasson will advise the budget committee on its budget, finalize several contracts and engage the community on its development. City staff say they have appreciated the work he’s done. And while his successor has not been chosen, Hasson wants to assure the community he’s leaving them in good hands. So what’s next for Hasson, besides taking care of the farm? Hasson would like to teach at Portland State University. He’s currently in the process of getting a Ph.D. — and he’s also writing a mystery novel.

Prairie City, Iowa (population 1,665): Prairie City is pleased to welcome Emmanuel (Manny) Toribio as our new City Administrator, according to the city’s web site.  Manny comes to us after a six year position as a Planning Technician for the City of Des Moines.  Having received his Bachelor’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State in 2006 and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Drake in 2010, Manny is ready to utilize his education and experience in his new role with the City of Prairie City. Manny grew up in West Liberty, IA, graduating from high school there in 2002.  Having grown up in a community similar to Prairie City, with the long history and strong community spirit, Manny was excited when the City Administrator position became available.  He looks forward to building strong relationships with members of the community, council and staff. Manny and his wife, Emily, currently live in Ankeny, IA, but plan to relocate to Prairie City soon.  In his spare time he enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, traveling and walking his two dogs, Tubby and Toddles.  Manny also finds time to give back to the community with Animal Lifeline of Iowa, Salisbury House Young Professionals and Toastmasters. Stop in and welcome Manny to Prairie City.

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Transitions: Santa Ana, CA; Clayton County, GA; Yavapai County, AZ and more

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

Santa Ana, California (population 324,528): Santa Ana’s City Council fired City Manager Paul Walters by a 6-1 vote, according to the Voice of OC. It was unclear what Walters’ payout would be or the full terms of his exit. Council members did not discuss such issues publicly. Councilwoman Michele Martinez said that consultant Management Partners will be holding strategic planning meetings with council members and the community in the coming months. Along with a new city manager, the plan is to formulate a citywide vision, she said. Many Latino activists are demanding a national city manager search.

Clayton County, Georgia (population 261,532): Sixteen months into his tenure as Clayton County’s county manager, Wade Starr’s contact with the county has been terminated and the county manager position eliminated, according to Neighborhood Newspapers. At last Wednesday’s initial meeting of the commission under the guidance of new commission chairman Jeff Turner. the board voted 3-2, with Turner casting the deciding vote, to oust Starr and eliminate the county manager post. However, Starr’s contact will be bought out by the county. Commissioners Shana Rooks and Michael Edmondson supported the resolution while Sonna Singleton and Gail Hambrick were opposed. According to Turner, anytime there is a change in leadership, there are going to be changes in staff. Edmondson, who opposed the creation of the county manager position as did then Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell when it was originally passed in Sept. 2011, said, historically, Clayton County has always had a strong commission chairman form of government  Singleton said that the possible creation of a chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Clayton, two resolutions which had their first readings before the commission last week, would end up costing Clayton County hundreds of thousands of dollars. Singleton added this resolution and another passed by the commission last week to authorize an audit of some county finances, represents a waste of taxpayer’s money.

Yavapai County, Arizona (population 211,888): Yavapai County has a new permanent Administrator, and it’s someone who is familiar with the position, according to the Prescott eNews.  Following a closed Executive Session yesterday morning, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the appointment of Phil Bourdon to that position.  Bourdon had been serving in the interim since last June, when former Administrator Juli Ayers announced her resignation.  Even though he’s only been on the job a few weeks, Supervisor Jack Smith says bourdon has been a big help. Smith says Bourdon has an extensive county background. Bourdon has been with the County since 1996.

Tempe, Arizona (population 164,268): The Tempe City Council members who voted to terminate City Manager Charlie Meyer’s employment contract Monday cited criticisms ranging from his perceived lack of communication skills to an inability to focus on meaningful policy, according to The Arizona Republic. The vote was 5-2 to terminate Meyer’s employment contract. Mayor Mark Mitchell and council members Corey Woods, Shana Ellis, Robin Arredondo-Savage and Joel Navarro voted to end the contract, while council members Onnie Shekerjian and Kolby Granville voted to retain Meyer. The council did not immediately address its plans for the city-manager position. Councilman Corey Woods, who supported Meyer in 2009 when his contract was narrowly renewed, cited Meyer’s absence at the meeting and his e-mail blast to every city employee Friday about his expectation of being fired as reasons for his vote Monday not to support Meyer. To the detriment of the city and its residents, Woods said, Meyer has been “too focused on process, not policy.” Woods said he put himself in Meyer’s shoes, imagining what his employer would say if he dealt with a personnel issues in a similar fashion. Meyer, 60, sent the memo titled “Do Good Anyway,” Friday from his work e-mail account, making it a public record, and included a scathing quotation that appeared to be directed toward the council. In his memo, Meyer thanked Tempe employees but not the council. Meyer’s memo cited a quote often mistakenly attributed to Mother Teresa: “‘People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; succeed anyway.’” As an “at-will employee” the council controls the employment of the city manager and may terminate him without cause. The council appointed Meyer in 2007, when Hugh Hallman was mayor. Less than two years later, the council narrowly approved Meyer’s employment contract on a 4-3 vote at a September 2009 meeting. At the time, Meyer drew high praise as well as criticism that included claims that he ignored workers’ complaints of discrimination at the hands of department chiefs. Council members Mitchell, Navarro and Ben Arredondo voted against approving Meyer’s contract. Hallman, Ellis, Shekerjian and Woods voted in favor of it. In the years since, Meyer has received praise for his handling of the budget and managing cutbacks. However, Tempe has dealt with several high-profile problems in recent years, including a scandal that led to the resignation of the city’s fire chief. Residents were critical of Meyer’s decision to ban televising the public-comments period of City Council meetings. The decision sparked criticism over the public’s free-speech rights. Mario Martinez was the only Tempe resident to criticize Meyer at Monday’s meeting. Martinez took issue with Meyer’s handling of complaints over campaign signs, adding that Tempe deserves a better city manager. However, several Tempe residents who attended the public meeting applauded Meyer’s performance as city manager, saying that although the City Council was not required to explain its vote, the community deserves an explanation. Councilman Granville, who praised Meyer for his work ethic, echoed residents’ requests. Shekerjian said Meyer had brought “order back to this organization when it was chaos.” The change in city manager may cost Tempe a significant payout, as at least one resident noted. The financial impact of terminating Meyer’s contract was outlined in Monday’s public record of the agenda item. It said that if Meyer, with an annual salary of $189,989, were “terminated involuntarily,” he would be entitled to severance pay equal to six months of his base salary and 100 percent of his accrued sick and vacation leave. The severance would not apply if Meyer were terminated for willful misconduct, fraud, corruption or moral turpitude.

Mesa County, Colorado (population 147,083): Mesa County Administrator Chantal Unfug resigned Jan. 21, a surprise announcement that current commissioners declined to discuss in detail but one that caught a former commissioner off-guard, according to The Daily Sentinel. Commissioners issued a two-sentence statement late on the afternoon of Jan. 22 indicating they and Unfug had reached a “mutual agreement” on her resignation. They thanked her for “her leadership and wish her well in future endeavors.” Unfug couldn’t be reached for comment. Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said Unfug’s resignation was effectively immediately. Both he and Commissioner Rose Pugliese declined to comment on the reasons for Unfug’s resignation, saying it was a personnel manner. Acquafresca did say the factors that led up to Unfug’s resignation were a “recent development.” Internal Services Director Tom Fisher will serve as the interim county administrator. Acquafresca said he expects the county to search for and hire a permanent administrator. Unfug’s resignation comes a little more than a week after new commissioners John Justman and Pugliese were sworn in. They replaced term-limited commissioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland. Meis said he’s surprised Unfug is out of a job, especially given how new the board is. But he said the job is a challenging one. Meis responded “not really” when asked if, as far as he knew, Unfug seemed dissatisfied in her job or was interested in another position. Unfug was hired in July 2011. She previously served as the manager of the Denver Parks and Recreation Department. Unfug’s original employment contract stipulated that she would receive six months’ severance pay should commissioners terminate her employment without providing her six months’ written notice. She, however, would not receive severance pay if she voluntarily resigned her position or if the board terminated her employment because of “some act or omission … which renders her, in the Board’s sole opinion, unable to continue to perform under this agreement.”

Columbia, South Carolina (population 130,531): Columbia City Council has offered Teresa Wilson the new City Manager position, according to WLTX. By a vote of 5-2, Columbia City Council moved to promote Assistant City Manager Teresa Wilson, to City Manager after Steve Gantt steps down. Teresa Wilson is currently one of three assistant City Managers. News19 asked for the job description and qualifications from the City of Columbia. The position requires: “A Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree preferred, in public administration, business administration, or closely related field with a minimum of eight (8) years of work experience in a City or County leadership position, including but not limited to City Manager, Assistant City Manager, County Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Administrative Services, etc.” However, some say Wilson’s experience doesn’t meet the City’s requirements. News19 was emailed a copy of Wilson’s resume. It includes serving as Assistant City Manager of community programs, economic development, and government services in July of 2011. She started working with the City in 2007 as Director of Government Affairs and Community Relations. Before coming to the City – she worked in the USC President’s office in government and community relations. Wilson also worked in Richland One and Two as a teacher from 2000 to 2005. City leaders say Wilson’s time with the city – and her time spent working at USC as a liaison to state and federal government – qualified her. After going into a brief executive session Thursday morning, City Council made their decision. But not everyone on council gave their full support. Councilwoman Leona Plaugh says that while Wilson is a ‘bright, gifted, and talented candidate,’ she is not the most qualified person the council interviewed. Moe Baddourah was the second Councilman to vote no against offering the job to Wilson. Wilson points to her time overseeing the City’s economic development, grants administrations, and governmental affairs as reasons the council chose her over other candidates. News19 also heard concerns from people saying Wilson’s friendship with Mayor Steve Benjamin likely played a role in her getting the job. The mayor’s office says Benjamin has known Wilson for nearly 20 years but says their friendship did not play a role in his vote or the other council members vote. Wilson says her perspective on the city’s needs likely set her apart from the rest of the candidates. Wilson tells News19 her first duty will be to re-assess the city staff that is currently in place. Wilson will take over once current city manager, Steve Gantt, steps down in 2013.

Fayette County, Georgia (population 107,784): Peachtree City resident and former city councilman Steve Rapson was unanimously selected as the new county manager for Fayette County on January 2, according to The Citizen. Rapson most recently served as Union City manager for the past three and a half years, and was previously the assistant city manager in Sandy Springs for more than four years. Rapson also worked for five years as budget director for Fulton County, also serving as the chairman’s chief of staff. Rapson also served with new commission chairman Steve Brown in the Peachtree City Council when Brown was mayor from 2002-2005. Rapson is replacing former County Manager Jack Krakeel, who retired in the summer but came back to work temporarily until his successor could be named. Rapson is highly regarded for his budget acumen, which will come in handy as the county continues to face declining budget revenues due to shrinking property values. Last year the county implemented an early retirement program to shrink its workforce on top of a general hiring freeze for all positions except for public safety. Rapson said he wants to work on improving the county’s relationships with its cities. While there is much work ahead on a myriad of matters, Rapson said he is confident he has some good department heads to help him carry the load.

Champaign, Illinois (population 81,055): With the unanimous support of the city council on Dec. 18 — but not a unanimous vote — officials approved Assistant City Manager Dorothy David’s contract to become Champaign’s next chief administrator, according to The News-Gazette. The 8-1 vote made David’s appointment official, and she will replace City Manager Steve Carter when he retires on March 29. Council members said it was clear she was the best choice for the job even though city officials never sought applications from non-city employees. Council member Tom Bruno said David gives him “a very high degree of comfort level” that no outsider could replicate. David thanked the city council and said she was humbled to get its support. She said Champaign has been her home, and she understands that everything the city council not only affects her job, but it also affects her personal life. The lone dissenting vote came from Deborah Frank Feinen, who said David is “the perfect choice” for the job. But Feinen has a philosophical problem with David’s contract. That problem, Feinen said, is contained in Section 4, which provides that David would continue to receive up to 52 weeks of pay and benefits if she were terminated “without cause.” But Feinen, a former Champaign County Board member, said she was there when the board had to fire a county official. That official was under a similar contract to David’s, and taxpayers paid nearly a full year’s salary to that person after being terminated. But that does not affect her enthusiasm for David’s hiring, she said. David will make a base salary of $173,000, which is about $5,000 less than Carter’s current base salary. Carter will be retiring after 28 years as Champaign city manager. David was chosen for the job after city officials opened the application process only to city employees for one week. They had planned to accept external applications, but left themselves the option of closing their search if they were satisfied with the internal applications. David was the lone internal applicant, and the city council ended its search. City council members also chose to forgo hiring a potentially expensive search firm to recruit job candidates. Mayor Don Gerard said that was the right choice.

Eagan, Minnesota (population 67,765): City Administrator Dave Osberg has been offered a job as the city administrator in the City of Eagan, according to the Hastings Star Gazette. Osberg applied to the position after a recruiter hired by the City of Eagan approached him and asked if he would be interested in submitting his resume. Earlier this month, Osberg was selected as one of four finalists. Last Thursday and Friday, he interviewed with Eagan’s department heads, a citizen panel and the city council. Late Friday afternoon, Osberg got a call from the city. On Tuesday, Osberg said he expected the terms to be buttoned up by the end of the day Wednesday or Thursday. Once the agreement is settled, it would go to the Eagan City Council for approval at their next meeting, Feb. 5. If the agreement is approved, Osberg would start working in Eagan sometime in late March.

Flower Mound, Texas (population 67,019): Flower Mound will pay approximately $442,000 in severance costs to fire former Town Manager Harlan Jefferson, according to The Dallas Morning News. That’s the amount listed in a settlement agreement reached in December between Jefferson and the town. Jefferson will receive severance payments equal to his base salary for 22 months. They will be paid biweekly for 12 months, beginning in late October, according to the agreement obtained by The Dallas Morning News through a freedom of information request. Over the next year, the town will be paying a $199,500 salary to Jimmy Stathatos, the former Roanoke town manager, who replaced Jefferson on Jan. 14. Jefferson was fired in October in a dispute with the Town Council. He started a new job, as town manager in Prosper, on Jan. 21. Jefferson’s new employment status will change the severance package slightly because Flower Mound will no longer be responsible for his insurance and other benefits. Flower Mound agreed to pay these costs until he found a new job, according to the settlement agreement. Finance officials didn’t provide any estimate of how much that would alter the settlement, but Mayor Tom Hayden indicated that it would not be a significant amount. He said the $442,000 listed in the settlement agreement was “very close” to the amount that will be paid to Jefferson. However, that figure doesn’t include legal fees for a Dallas attorney hired by the town to handle the termination. Flower Mound officials say they have no documents related to these fees. At the time Jefferson was fired, Hayden said the move would not have a negative financial impact on the town. He reiterated that assertion last week, saying that the town is under contract to sell a 5-acre parcel for $1 million and that Flower Mound is beginning to attract renewed interest from the development community. Jefferson lost the job he had held since 2006 after Flower Mound was criticized in a survey of developers for being a difficult place to do business.

Walton County, Florida (population 55,300): After 8 months, the Walton County Board of Commissioners has finally chosen a new County Administrator, according to WMBB. The interim administrator, Gerry Demers has filled the role since Greg Kisela’s departure last May. His name is Robert Halfhill and he is the current Public Works Director for Charlotte County, Florida. Halfhill’s resume boasts 21 years of government administrative experience to the board. After an extensive vote that included each Commissioner ranking their top three candidates, Halfhill was selected as the top candidate, with Jackson County’s Administrator, Ted Lakey, in 2nd place, and former Walton County Commissioner, Larry Jones, in 3rd place. The county will now move into contract negotiations with Halfhill.

Doral, Florida (population 48,789): In a move that sent shockwaves through political corridors, Doral Mayor Luigi Boria’s nomination of former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo as the new city manager January 9 was unanimously accepted by the five-member council, with brief discussion, according to The Miami Herald. Carollo, a political lightening rod who has not held office since a failed reelection bid in 2001, replaces Merrett Stierheim, who resigned abruptly only a few hours before the announcement. Stierheim was hired as the city’s interim manager last month after Yvonne Soler-McKinley resigned. Stierheim’s mission: To lead the search for a full-time manager, and help in the transition. In his resignation letter, Stierheim said he “played no role whatsoever” in the selection process, “nor was I aware of it.” Reached later he called the appointment of the quick-tempered and often bombastic former public servant “a terrible decision.” Boria’s announcing of Carollo’s nomination came shortly after the 6 p.m. city council meeting began. A brief discussion ensued in which Vice Mayor Sandra Ruiz questioned the wisdom of hiring a new manager without a search, but in the end the five-member council voted together for the Carollo appointment. Carollo, who is expected to sign a contract and begin work Thursday will earn $144,000 a year in salary, plus benefits. He will oversee a staff of 277 workers. A short while after his successful nomination, Boria presided over a hastily-called press conference in a small room outside the City Hall chamber. Carollo was absent. The mayor read off the highlights of Carollo’s resumé, but refused to answer any questions posited by the media about his new city manager’s past. Reached at home after the announcement, Carollo said he will gladly fill the position, and will not accept any type of severance in his contract. He wouldn’t go into specifics about what his plans are for the city. The new manager said he has been doing government consulting work, but refused to say for whom. Asked if he will move to Doral, Carollo said selling his Miami home would be difficult, and besides he said, “the city manager’s job is probably the most unstable in the whole country.” Carollo was offered the same position when Soler-McKinley resigned in December, but declined. It was not until early January that rumors began to circulate of Carollo’s possible nomination – a move that would have him back serving the public after an 11-year absence. In recent weeks Carollo was seen visiting the Boria home for lunch. The family has the tradition of eating together every day. Carollo has also sat in on Boria’s media interviews and keeps track of his schedule, reminding Boria of upcoming appointments. The two also share a spiritual bond: They go to the Alpha and Omega Christian church in southwest Miami-Dade. Carollo was instrumental in Stierheim’s interim appointment last month, visiting the Stierheim home with Boria to entice the former county manager to oversee the city during what was expected to be a difficult transition. He was mostly absent from public view until early 2010, reemerging in time to bash old political foe Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado’s fundraising tactics, and later taking his concerns to the airwaves. Last year Carollo publicly supported Rod Vereen’s failed attempt to oust Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, mostly bashing the state attorney for ignoring perceived wrongdoings by Regalado, Carollo’s long-time political foe. Carollo is responsible for one of the greatest coup attempts in Miami political history: In 1983 as a Miami commissioner he denounced mayoral candidate Maurice Ferré in a press conference – that Ferré called to publicize Carollo’s endorsement. Ferré still won the election. Carollo rocketed to prominence in the early 1980s as a Miami commissioner, finally winning the mayor’s seat he had so coveted in a 1997 race. He actually lost the vote to popular incumbent Xavier Suarez, but was able to move into City Hall after a successfully arguing the election was tainted by ballot fraud. His four years in the mayor’s office were rocky. Fights were constant with Regalado and former Miami Commissioner Arthur Teele Jr. At one point Teele and Carollo got into a physical confrontation in a corridor of City Hall as a meeting was taking place. As mayor of Miami during the Elian Gonzalez affair, Carollo fired his police chief for not informing him of the federal raid at the family’s Little Havana home ahead of time. Carollo was arrested shortly before leaving office in 2001 for throwing a cardboard tea canister that hit his wife Mari in the head. The charges were later dropped, and the two divorced. Despite all the fiascos, Carollo has never been implicated in political wrongdoing. He earned credit in helping Miami become solvent after the city’s finances were handed to a state oversight board when it was discovered it had been operating in a $68 million hole. Carollo also managed to stay unscathed during one of Miami’s darkest scandals, Operation Greenpalm. Off to prison for bribery and other charges in an undercover police sting in 1996 were the city manager, a commissioner, and a top financial manager.

Campbell, California (population 39,968): Campbell city manager Amy Brown has informed city staff today that she is resigning from her position, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Brown has been with the city for a little more than a year. Brown has accepted the job of director of agriculture and environmental management with Santa Clara County. Before being hired in December 2011, she had been with the city of San Francisco for 12 years, serving as deputy city attorney, director of real estate and acting city administrator. Brown is expected to stay with Campbell through late February.

Huber Heights, Ohio (population 38,101): David Studebaker will be the newest leader of Huber Heights, according to the Dayton Business Journal. The city council Monday night voted unanimously to approve Studebaker to be its city manager. He replaces James Borland, who steps down from the role on March 15. Studebaker worked as interim city manager for Huber Heights for six months in 2008 while the city was searching for a permanent city manager. He retired from Trimble Navigation Ltd. in 2008. In a letter to council, the Huber Heights/Wayne Township native said he was eager to return to the challenges of city government and wanted to give back to the community. Borland has been planning to retire once the city found a replacement.

Pacifica, California (population 37,691): At the helm of the city for the last six years, City Manager Stephen Rhodes announced in December he will retire at the end of July, according to the Mercury News. That date coincides with the end of his contract with the city. Rhodes provided six months notice so City Council will hopefully have time to recruit a new city manager before he leaves. Before working in Pacifica, Rhodes worked in local government in both Oregon and California. He will have served 37 years in his career at the time of his retirement.

Winter Haven, Florida (population 34,291): Dale Smith, Winter Haven city manager, is preparing to step down from his post on Thursday, according to the News Chief. Smith, a Winter Haven native, has been city manager for three years. Smith was born and raised in Winter Haven. He grew up on Lake Howard, within a green Schwinn three-speed bike-ride of a bustling downtown he loved as a kid. It broke his heart when he came back to Winter Haven, degree in hand, to boarded downtown windows. The usually calm, reserved man, perks up now when he talks about the downtown revitalization he played a part in. As the city’s first engineer, Smith designed a large part of the city’s infrastructure. Want to know what’s in the ground and where? Smith is a more reliable source than city records. Luckily for city staff, he isn’t going far — he’s going to find a garage in Winter Haven to work on his classic cars.

Morgantown, West Virginia (population 30,293): It’s a little more than 600 miles between Morgantown and College Park, Georgia, according to WDTV. That’s how far the current Morgantown City Manager will have to move for his new job. Terrence Moore announced Monday afternoon he’s leaving his current job for the same position in the suburb of Atlanta. Moore has been the City Manager in Morgantown for a little more than two years. Earlier this month he was the finalist for a job in Corpus Christi, Texas, but he turned that down. Moore’s last day in office will be Friday, but he’ll be around until the end of February. Moore told 5 News when he signed on to be the city manager in the University City he planned to take the job for about 5 years. There were some rumors that Moore was being forced out due to a feud with other city council members. Moore denied those reports during the press conference Monday. City council members will start looking for a new city manager starting at a council meeting Tuesday night.

Algonquin, Illinois (population 30,145): Algonquin officials hired a new village manager, one they hope will be around for at least as long as their current village manager, who is retiring after 21 years, according to the Daily Herald. By a unanimous vote, the village board tapped Timothy Schloneger, the city administrator in Lockport, to lead Algonquin into the future. Schloneger’s first day in Algonquin will be Feb. 18. He will replace Bill Ganek, who was hired as village administrator in 1992 and later became village manager. Ganek announced his retirement in July. Schloneger did not attend the meeting but said in a statement that he said he’s excited to get to work. The village board met in a nine-minute closed session Tuesday to finalize Schloneger’s employment agreement. The Lockport resident will make $165,000 a year, receive four weeks vacation, a car to use for village business and a $400 annual car allowance. While in Lockport, where he’s been for six years, Schloneger worked closely with the city’s financial management and economic development operations. He’s credited with improving the city’s bond rating, developing financing for its capital improvement program and negotiating development agreements. He also has municipal experience in Lemont and Romeoville. Schloneger was among 75 people who applied for the position of village manager in Algonquin. Village officials hired Voorhees Associates of Deerfield to advertise the job and to conduct the search for applicants. Officials interviewed 11 candidates and winnowed that down to seven or eight finalists, Ganek said. Schmitt was most impressed with Schloneger’s attention to detail and his understanding of the job, which involves juggling trustee and resident demands, managing staff members and fitting everyone’s needs within the confines of a budget. Ganek makes about $200,000 a year and will continue to work for the Algonquin during Schloneger’s transition. He’ll stay on for as long as he’s needed, he said Tuesday.

Wentzville, Missouri (population 29,070): T. Michael McDowell, the city manager of Olivette since 2004, has been tapped as Wentzville’s new city administrator, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. McDowell was chosen by the Board of Aldermen and Mayor Nick Guccione from the latest round of five finalists in the city’s long-running search. The position has been vacant since Aug. 2011, when Dianna Wright abruptly departed because of what the city called “irreconcilable differences.” Aldermen were unable to agree on a permanent replacement until now. A proposed contract, announced Friday by the city, calls for McDowell to be paid $122,400 annually plus use of a city-owned car. McDowell’s career of nearly 40 years in city management also includes a stint as Creve Coeur city administrator. Wentzville officials on Friday also announced that Petree Powell, the former city administrator in Crestwood, has begun work as interim finance director. Powell was hired through a company that provides fill-ins for such posts while cities seek permanent replacements. That post opened up when the longtime finance director, Dennis Walsh, retired. Since September, the Wentzville administrator post has been filled on an interim basis through the same company by George Kolb, a former Wichita, Kan., city manager.

Big Spring, Texas (population 27,364): A longtime West Texas city manager is calling it quits, according to PermianBasin360.com. The Big Spring Herald is reporting that Big Spring City Manager Gary Fuqua will retire at the end of 2013. Fuqua has worked for the City of Big Spring for 38 years. Fuqua has also recently overseen the development of several long-term projects in Big Spring. Assistant city manager Todd Darden will replace Fuqua as Big Spring’s city manager next year.

Florence, Arizona (population 25,536): A new Florence town manager is expected to start work next week, according to the Casa Grande Dispatch. Charles A. Montoya, most recently director of finance for the town of Castle Rock, Colo., is to begin work Monday.In an interview with the Florence Reminder, Montoya said he was with Castle Rock, a town of 50,000 people, for 41⁄2 years. Prior to that he was chief financial officer for Centennial, Colo., a newly incorporated city of 100,000. Montoya, 43, said he was drawn to the job in Florence for the climate, but especially the comfort and security of a small community. He is married and the father of six children. His contract provides an annual base salary of $113,000 plus $325 per month vehicle allowance. Montoya worked as chief financial officer for Jefferson County, Colo., and before that worked for a private company, National Mentor Inc., in New Mexico. He also worked seven years for the governor’s office and other state agencies in New Mexico. As director of finance for the town of Castle Rock, he managed and supervised all financial, accounting, payroll, budgeting, and analysis of organization expenditures and revenues. He also assisted in the analysis and management of economic development, long-term water planning, fire management and planning and development, according to his resume. He holds a bachelor’s degree in management economics with a minor in math from New Mexico State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from University of New Mexico. He served about 10 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve, retiring with the rank of lieutenant.

Mercer Island, Washington (population 23,154): Mercer Island City Manager Rich Conrad, a 35-year employee of the City of Mercer Island, announced his plans to retire at the end of this year, according to the Mercer Island Reporter. Conrad told the City Council about his decision at their annual planning retreat held over the weekend at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center. In a letter sent to city employees today, Conrad said that he started out at the city in 1979, just as “another one of the gang that needed a job.” Over time things changed, he continued. He said he is leaving on his own terms. Conrad expects to be involved professionally on a part-time basis after he retires. He will live part-time in Arizona where he and his wife April, have a second home.

Dawson County, Georgia (population 22,459): A Dawson County native has been selected as the county’s next chief operating officer, according to the Dawson News. Cindy Gilleland Campbell was named county manager Dec. 20 following a unanimous vote by the Dawson County commission. She will replace Kevin Tanner, who is leaving the post he has held since 2008 in January for the Georgia House of Representatives, where he will represent District 9. Campbell currently serves as the county’s chief financial officer, a position she has held for four years. She also served as the county’s interim manager earlier this year when Tanner took a leave of absence to run for state office. The first woman to hold the position, Campbell, 40, said she looks forward to 2013 and beginning her new role. Hired in 2008 as assistant finance director, Campbell was promoted to chief financial officer in December of that year. In her current position, she manages and oversees all aspects of the county’s finances, supervising the finance, purchasing and human resources staff. Commission Chair Mike Berg said Campbell represents the caliber of employee required for the county’s top non-elected position. A 1990 Dawson County High School graduate, Campbell earned a bachelor of business administration degree at North Georgia College & State University and received her certified public accountant license in 2000. Prior to her work with the county, Campbell’s career included nearly 14 years in corporate finance and accounting in the private sector. She was selected from a slate of five internal candidates vying for the manager’s job. They included: David Headley, director of public works and community development; David McKee, planning and development director; Billy Thurmond, emergency services director; and Bob Ivey, director of administration. Berg said the decision was one of the most difficult the county commission has faced. Berg and Campbell were set to meet late last week to discuss and finalize her new contract.

Leesburg, Florida (population 20,179): Jay Evans submitted a letter of resignation, saying his last day on the job would be Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, according to News 13. Evans has served the city of Leesburg since 2004.

Camas, Washington (population 19,355): Camas selected Nina Regor as the city’s top administrator at its 4:30 p.m. worksession Dec. 17. After a nearly yearlong search for a new city administrator, the city landed on Regor, who currently serves as the city manager of Cloverdale, Calif., a small community of 8,500 people. Regor will receive a gross salary of $127,812. From 1991 to 2003, Regor worked for the Gresham, Ore., where she was promoted from budget analyst to assistant city manager. She previously served as the deputy city manager of Spokane Valley from 2003 to 2007. She has a bachelor’s and a master’s in public management and policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Regor is already familiar with Camas. She grew up in the Clark County area, and her mother was raised in Camas. She will replace long-serving City Administrator Lloyd Halverson, who will be retiring at the beginning of the year after serving in his position for 23 years.

Culpeper, Virginia (population 16,379): The Culpeper Town Council fired Town Manager Kim Alexander, according to Fredericksburg.com. The vote, at a special council meeting, was 5–2. Councilmen Ben Phillips, Frank Reaves, Jim Risner, Bobby Ryan and Billy Yowell voted for Alexander’s termination while Vice Mayor Mike Olinger and Dave Lochridge voted against. Mayor Chip Coleman was out having surgery while Dan Boring is away on a cruise. Alexander’s downfall began Sept. 13 when she placed town police Capt. Chris Settle on paid administrative leave and began her own internal investigation of allegations against him. Subsequent investigations by the Virginia State Police and a private investigator hired by the Town Council—which cost a reported $70,000—found only three minor infractions against Settle, according to a published report. The confidential results of that investigation were then leaked to the Culpeper Star–Exponent, which prompted the special meeting. According to a source close to the situation, Alexander, who was appointed town manager in August 2011, was given the option to resign, but would not. Alexander had survived a vote to terminate her Jan. 3. That vote was 5–4. Chris Hively, who was named assistant town manager earlier this month, will take over the town manager’s job.

Traverse City, Michigan (population 14,894): City Manager Ben Bifoss announced his retirement today, effective June 28, in a brief letter emailed to city commissioners this afternoon, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle. Bifoss did not give a reason for his impending departure but will make a formal announcement when he meets with the board today at 7 p.m. in the Governmental Center. Bifoss replaced Richard Lewis as city manager and started with the city in November 2008.

Waukee, Iowa (population 14,484): After an extensive national search for a new city administrator, Waukee council members have hired a man with more than two decades of experience developing cities in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register. Tim Moerman, who has been assistant city manager in Ankeny, will assume the job of Waukee city administrator on Feb. 18. All five members of the Waukee City Council approved Moerman’s contract during a special session on Thursday. He will be paid a prorated annual salary of $132,000 through the end of June, and then $134,000 for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Waukee Mayor Bill Peard welcomed Moerman to the city on Thursday and invited him to address the council. Brad Deets, Waukee’s development services director, has served as interim city administrator since Jeff Kooistra resigned in May. Moerman was hired by Ankeny in 2005 as director of community development. Building strong, trusting relationships with people helped him succeed there, he said. Those skills will help him in Waukee, specifically with the Alice’s Road project, he added. The multimillion-dollar road project would be a dominant issue during his first few months on the job, Moerman said. Waukee has expanded its staff in recent years to complete the project, and forging good relationships with staff and the community will be important, he said. Peard said Moerman’s ability to work with people and his can-do attitude were some of the qualities that made him a good fit for Waukee, which has increased in population by more than 8,600 people since 2000. The new chief executive said he was eager to get to work, and that he had already thought through a lot of the issues that he would confront during his first 60 days. Moerman’s resume also includes experience as assistant city manager in Dubuque from 1995 to 2001. He served as city administrator in Mason City from 2001 to 2005. Spurring development along the Dubuque waterfront and redeveloping Mason City are among his accomplishments, according to a press release from the city of Waukee. Moerman received his undergraduate business degree from Dordt College in Sioux Center and then a master’s degree in public administration from Iowa State University. The council-approved contract will also compensate Moerman for moving expenses so he and his family can relocate to Waukee. Councilman Shane Blanchard said Moerman’s background and experience would serve Waukee residents well. After the 10-minute meeting concluded, Moerman stayed in the council chambers to address members of the parks board. Clive City Manager Dennis Henderson said he has known Moerman for decades, and that Waukee officials made a good decision.

Lincoln, Illinios (population 14,419): After a two-year search, the city of Lincoln has hired its first city administrator, according to the Pantagraph. Sue McLaughlin, the former city administrator for Mattoon, has been hired through GovTempsUSA on a temporary basis, through April 30. The hire is temporary because contracts cannot extend past a current mayor’s term. Keith Snyder’s term will expire April 30, but he is running for re-election. The temporary contract, which has a provision for a six-month extension, will give the city a good trial period, Snyder said. “We will have options because we can evaluate it and the council can make a decision whether or not to make it permanent or go another direction,” Snyder said. The Mattoon City Council terminated McLaughlin’s contract in June 2012 “without cause” after she was on the job for 2½ years. McLaughlin faced criticism from the council because of a proposal to sell 4.7 acres at Lake Mattoon to her fiancé for about $41,000. Officials say the figure was far less than the market value of the property. Snyder said he talked with McLaughlin at length about the situation. McLaughlin has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Illinois State University in Normal and a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. She held previous administrator positions in North Aurora and Byron. Because of the temporary nature of the contract, McLaughlin will not be required to move to Lincoln until the position becomes permanent. McLaughlin will begin Feb. 1 with a salary equivalent to $62,400 annually.

Gates County, North Carolina (population 12,197): Neither rain, nor wind, nor the threat of snow could keep Gates County citizens from meeting their new local government administrator here last week, according to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. Inside the cozy confines of the meeting room at the Merchants Millpond State Park Visitors Center, Jon Mendenhall took center stage. The newly hired County Manager shook hands and chatted with local residents during a two-hour welcoming reception held in his honor. While the event was staged primarily to welcome Mendenhall, it also served another purpose….that of saying thanks and farewell to interim County Manager Kenneth Windley. He was hired by the commissioners in early November following the departure of former County Manager Toby Chappell who left to accept a similar job in Greenwood County, SC. Henry Jordan, Chairman of the Gates County Board of Commissioners, stated that Windley was able to come in and keep the county’s current projects running without skipping a beat. Mendenhall said that although his time spent with Windley was short, he learned a lot from the veteran administrator. A native of High Point, Mendenhall has spent the past 20 months as the Deputy County Administrator in Southampton County, VA. Prior to that, Mendenhall has served as Director of Engineering Services for Albemarle, NC; Planning Director for Tift County, GA, and County Planner for Stanly County, NC. He is an undergraduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and a graduate of East Carolina University with a Masters in Technology Systems. Additional studies in Project Management have been completed at NC State University. His first day on the job in Gates County was Jan. 14.

Crestwood, Missouri (population 11,909): A retired U.S. Air Force colonel has been selected to serve as Crestwood’s new city administrator, according to the Call. Mayor Jeff Schlink recommended Mark Sime’s appointment to the position at last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting and aldermen voted 7-0 to approve the appointment. Ward 1 Alderman Mimi Duncan was absent from the Jan. 8 meeting. Sime, who served in the Air Force for 26 years, is a city resident. Sime said he wants to make sure he does a good job for his family and himself, but also for residents and established businesses. Schlink noted the city administrator position is a “more public position” than Sime has had in his past military experience. However, Sime said he has had “visibility” in some of his positions, such as when he served as a squadron commander on Guam. Ward 3 Alderman Paul Duchild, who chaired the City Administrator Candidate Search Committee, said the city had “quite a number of really qualified people” apply for the position. Schlink said the purpose of the search committee, which also included of Duncan and Ward 4 Alderman Dan Tennessen, was not to tell the mayor who “they felt was the best person.” Though Sime’s appointment was approved by the Board of Aldermen, details of Sime’s employment still need to be finalized. Former Fire Chief Karl Kestler had served as acting city administrator since March, at which time then-City Administrator Petree Eastman left the city. Eastman earned $98,000 annually.

Mebane, North Carolina (population 11,562): David Cheek is Mebane’s new city manager, taking over for Robert Wilson, who is retiring after 25 years of service, according to the Times-NewsCheek moved from his role as assistant city manager to manager after the first of the new year. Cheek, 52, is a graduate of N.C. State University, where he majored in accounting. He is a CPA. Cheek and his wife, Tammy, have three children — Lauren Parrish, 26; DJ, 24; and Anna, 15. Tammy works at Burlington Christian Academy. Cheek has a wealth of experience in local municipal and county government. He worked as manager of Alamance County for eight years before leaving to take a job as vice president of administrative and fiscal services for Alamance Community College. From there Cheek moved three years ago to the position of assistant city manager of Mebane. Chris Rollins, Graham’s former city manager, has moved to Mebane as assistant city manager. Cheek, who graduated from Graham High School in 1978, had an interesting work history before landing a job with Alamance County. After graduating from N.C. State, he worked four years for the state auditor’s office and followed that with four years with the state controller’s office. Cheek said he and his wife were ready to settle down and start a family and sought to return to Alamance County. Former Graham City Manager Bruce Turney was a family friend, Cheek said, and called former Alamance County Manager Robert Smith on his behalf. Cheek eventually landed a job as assistant county manager and moved to the position of manager when Smith retired. Cheek noted that Mebane continues to grow at a brisk pace.

Lewisburg, Tennessee (population 11,185): Lewisburg’s City Manager Tommy Engram hand delivered a resignation letter to Mayor Barbara Woods at her home Friday afternoon, according to the Marshall County Tribune. Woods said staff at City Hall knew some of the councilmen had been in to see Engram in the days before his resignation, but did not know what had been discussed. When reached by telephone, Engram had no comment as to why he resigned. Engram will be back in Lewisburg this week to clean out his desk and move the rest of his belongings from the city-owned house in Lone Oak Cemetery where he lived. He also plans to come back later this month, when Woods has returned from vacation, to brief her on programs that are in progress. These include revitalization of the square, WiFi on the square, grants, Jones Park, and “a whole list of items like that, that we’ve been doing to make the town more attractive to industry and make it more fun for the people who live there,” Engram said. Councilman Steve Thomas ran into Engram in Lewisburg Friday and heard about the resignation then, so he was the first councilman to know. In Thomas’s view, Engram was leading the city in a positive direction, but he acknowleged there were personality conflicts, though he was surprised by the resignation. Woods informed other councilmen by telephone over the weekend. Councilman Ronald McRady agreed Engram’s resignation was a surprise. McRady has spoken up and voted against some of Engram’s proposals, but said, “It wasn’t anything personal. It was what I felt was in the best interest of the city.” Councilman Robin Minor also heard about the resignation over the weekend, and said he was surprised “to a certain degree.” The mayor was regretful, as she prepared to resume the role of acting city manager. Minor said he thought the mayor would call a council meeting when she got back to town, to start the process of finding a new city manager. In his opinion, however, the final choice should be left until after the May election, so that the new councilmen can choose the man – or woman – they will be working with. Meanwhile, Engram is back home in Cedartown, Ga., writing an article for American Town & City. [Editor’s note: If anyone has a link to this publication, please let me know.] He plans to do “something in the same field,” but declined to be more specific. “I’m not at liberty to say anything at this time,” Engram said, citing professional standards. He started as Lewisburg City Manager on July 1, 2012. Engram was interim city manager in Cedartown about three years ago and after that he was director of the downtown development authority there until he got the job in Lewisburg.

Leicester, Massachusetts (population 10,970): Town Administrator Robert Reed said Monday night he intends to retire, effective July 31, after nine years in the post, according to the Telegram. Mr. Reed, who came to Leicester from a similar post in Sherborn, said he has enjoyed his years in Leicester and has made no specific plans about what he will do next. He said the town has a great deal of work scheduled for the next few months and he didn’t want selectmen to have to deal with that, while at the same time trying to find a new town administrator, so he put off his retirement day until July.

Grand Rapids, Minnesota (population 10,862): Sometimes the right opportunity comes along at the right time, according to the Grand Rapids Herald-Review. For Grand Rapids City Administrator Shawn Gillen, that right opportunity was the chance to become the city manager in Doraville, Ga. Gillen will be leaving his post with the City of Grand Rapids on April 16 and starting his new job on April 17. Doraville, which Gillen said has a population of around 10,000, is a suburb of Atlanta and he estimated the daytime population of Doraville expands to 30-40,000 people. The decision to leave wasn’t an easy one, he said. Gillen came to Grand Rapids in 2007 and in his nearly six years as city administrator, the biggest challenge he faced, and the thing he is “most proud of getting through” was the financial crisis. During that time, Local Government Aid (LGA) was slashed and Grand Rapids saw a reduction in its industrial and commercial tax base. To address the crisis, Grand Rapids implemented many measures to reduce the budget while keeping the same level of city services. Gillen said several measures were taken, including investing in technologies ranging from computer systems to a new plow truck able to do the work of two trucks; an early retirement program which allowed a staff reduction of 10 percent; and collaborations with other communities. Those measures, coupled with the city’s revenue stabilization plan, allowed the city to make a permanent budget reduction of $1 million with virtually no loss of services and no skyrocketing of city property taxes. Gillen gave credit to the city council, department heads and staff for making it through the financial crunch. Gillen also stressed the importance of the collaborations in which the city has taken part. These were communities which in the past had not spoken with one another, but now are talking and working together. While he’s excited to move on to his new position, there are some things he’ll miss. The YMCA project is going to be so cool, Gillen said. Plans are currently underway to put a senior center in the YMCA.. Gillen was recently named president of the Visit Grand Rapids board and had also been elected to the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce board, and he expressed some sadness in leaving those positions behind. On a personal note, his time in Minnesota has allowed Gillen to mark an item off his bucket list. Until last Friday, the Illinois native had never driven on a frozen lake. He went out to Pokegama Lake to see the hockey rink built for Hockey Day Minnesota and took his vehicle onto the ice. The Grand Rapids City Council has dedicated its Monday work session at 4 p.m. at City Hall to discussion of replacing the city administrator. Gillen, who will still be serving as city administrator until April, said he will assist in making a smooth transition for whomever is hired. The idea is that person gets to walk into a “turn-key situation,” Gillen said.

Hillsbourough, California (population 10,825): Randy Schwartz has been named the new city manager for the town of Hillsborough, replacing current City Manager Tony Constantouros, who retired after 18 years with the town, according to The Daily Journal. Schwartz has worked as San Bruno’s Community Service director for the past four years and before that, worked for the city of Burlingame for 23 years, where he last served as Parks and Recreation director. Schwartz will begin work in January 2013. A fourth generation San Franciscan, Randy Schwartz attended Lowell High School and San Francisco State University where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Schwartz and his wife, Stephanie, met in high school, were married in 1981 and have lived in Burlingame for the past 12 years.  Their children, Jeff (age 29) and Laura (age 26), graduated from Burlingame High School, are both married and live in San Mateo. Schwartz is a member of several professional organizations for municipal managers and has conducted dozens of staff development events for municipal management professionals.  He has taught at the College of Notre Dame and Skyline College and serves on a community advisory board for San Francisco State University.

Canandaigua, New York (population 10,604): The city of Canandaigua announced Jan. 25 that Norristown, Pa. municipal administrator David Forrest will be the new city manager, following the retirement of Kay James in March, according to MPNnow.com. City council will pass a resolution during a Feb. 7 meeting at City Hall regarding the manager change. Forrest will be sworn in during the March 7 council meeting, and the appointment will be effective March 8 — which will also be James’ last day in office. Forrest has 18 years of experience in local government management. He’s held the position in Norristown since May 2007. Previously he served as the Borough Manager for Landsdowne Borough Pa. and as the assistant Borough Manager in Pottstown Borough, Pa. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, and received his master of public administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Forrest will be the eighth city manager since the city of Canandaigua adopted a council/manager form of government through a 1968 charter change. James announced her retirement last summer. She has worked with the city since December 1984. James was appointed acting city manager in August 2007 when then-manager Cole was disabled by a stroke, and was officially named to the position in December 2008. In July, Council hired advisor Nick Mazza, of the Pittsford-based Bonadio Group, to help select James’ successor.

Prosper, Texas (population 9,889): As Harlan Jefferson prepares for his new job as Prosper’s town manager, he sees a chance to lead a unique town, according to the Star Local News. Jefferson was named the town manager at the Jan. 8 council meeting, ending a search that lasted several months. Jefferson started his job Jan. 21. Jefferson spent 12 years in Flower Mound, serving as town manager, deputy town manager, chief financial officer, director of finance and treasurer. The Flower Mound Town Council terminated his contract Oct. 8. Mayor Tom Hayden cited differences in economic development philosophies. Jefferson now has a chance to lead another municipality, and he sees Prosper’s future growth as an exciting challenge. Prosper, 15,000-resident community located north of Hwy. 380 in Collin County, is likely to see major growth in the coming years. Helping fuel that growth is the possible extension of the tollway. That, along with the EDC, will be new to Jefferson. The Prosper EDC is a 4A corporation authorized by the Texas state legislature to attract businesses to a community utilizing a portion of the sales tax in that community.

Kittery, Maine (population 9,490): Former Town Manager Robert Markel, in a farewell interview, took issue with a Town Council that at times overreached its legal limitations, took aim at council Chairman George Dow, and took umbrage with some town employees who have provided insufficient “customer service” to residents, according to the SeacoastOnline. He also let loose several revelations. Among them, a town employee was fired over the summer, he said, for running an eBay business from her desk. An unfounded rumor that his office was bugged prompted interim Town Manager James Ashe to talk with Markel at a restaurant when he first arrived. And as for officers’ vote of no confidence in former Police Chief Paul Callaghan, Markel said he felt the impetus was that Callaghan “came in with proposals at the bargaining table that they didn’t like.” Markel’s final day in office was Thursday and he sat down with the Portsmouth Herald on Friday afternoon. He resigned in December after serving as manager for a year. Markel said he was concerned that no strong candidates for town manager are going to want to come to Kittery until the Town Council stops telling the manager how to do his job. He said during his tenure, some councilors demanded he take certain actions regarding specific town employees. This was particularly true when it came to Callaghan. He singled out Dow in particular. Dow has said many times that he understands the demarcation between the council and the manager and he did not intervene to end Callaghan’s employment. Markel said, with steel in his voice, Friday that Dow did, in fact, interfere. He also spoke of a need for town employees to start providing better customer service. He said he found out that some employees were simply not returning phone calls or checking e-mails from the end of day Thursday until Monday morning, when Town Hall opened again. He said that since then, he required many department heads to be available to answer phone calls and e-mail on Friday, when Town Hall is closed. He said one of his hallmarks as manager was hiring good employees. This includes the town finance director, who is now “fully prepared to put together the budget with or without a town manager. That’s what you want. Good employees who do their job.” Meanwhile, he fired one employee and suspended another for running an eBay operation while on duty, after following up on another Town Hall rumor. As a result, there is now a blocker system on all computers so that certain sites, including commercial and pornography sites, can’t be accessed. Markel said he hopes to stay in the southern Maine area, and has several options he’s pursuing. He said Kittery “has a bright future. I’m ultimately optimistic,” particularly because a citizens watchdog group has recently formed and is “engaged” in the public process.

Groveland, Florida (popluation 8,846): Groveland officials may soon be in the market for a new city manager and a finance director, since Dolly Miller, who holds both positions, quit, according to The Daily Commercial. City Attorney Anita Geraci said Monday she has instructed Groveland officials and city employees not to talk about Miller’s resignation until a formal meeting is held to discuss it. In her letter, Miller gave no reason for why she was quitting, although she thanked the city for the opportunity to have been appointed as manager in January 2010, following a brief stint as interim manager after the death of then manager Ralph Hester in October 2009. Miller, a native of Florida, has worked for the city since April 2001, when she was hired as a human resources clerk. Nearly one year later, in January 2002, she was promoted to finance director, a position she held throughout her tenure, along with the city manager title bestowed upon her eight years later. According to former Mayor Mike Radzik who served on the Groveland City Council as mayor from November 2010 to November 2012, Miller’s appointment to the city manager’s post was not seen by some as ideal. Radzik said some of the members of the current council, who also have served on previous councils, had other ideas regarding who should have held the top spot to begin with. That, Radzik said, has continued to plaque Miller since her appointment. Miller, who graduated from Lake-Sumter Community College and the University of Central Florida, worked in retail for 10 years and earned a real estate license before joining the city. She currently makes $117,220 a year. As Groveland’s finance director, Miller earned the city a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the government Finance Officers Association for three years in a row; the last in June 2012.

Cloverdale, California (population 8,618): Nina Regor, Cloverdale’s city manager for the past five years, is leaving to take a job as top administrator of a city in Washington state, according to the Press Democrat. Regor announced she has accepted the job as the city administrator in Camas, Wash. Regor, 51, will be paid about $128,000 in her new position, less than the $154,000 she makes in Cloverdale. But she said it will allow her to be nearer to family, including an aunt and an uncle that live in Washington. She also grew up in the area. Camas, a city of 20,000 inhabitants, is just east of Vancouver, Wash., It has more than twice the population of Cloverdale. With 179 employees it also has more than four times as many city workers. Before she came to Cloverdale, Regor was a deputy city manager in Spokane Valley, Wash. Since she arrived in Cloverdale in late 2007, the recession along with the accompanying decline in property and sales tax revenues contributed to the city’s general fund dwindling from $11 million annually to about $5 million. Despite the financial constraints, Regor said the city completed a number of significant projects, including the Cloverdale Fire Protection District headquarters, the History Center and the Performing Arts Center. Although those projects were team efforts involving collaboration with non-profit groups and others, Mayor Palla said, the city manager was a “key player. She had a big part in facilitating the process.” Palla said Regor has been very helpful in guiding the City Council during steady down-sizing of operations. City Councilwoman Carol Russell said Regor has been a calming influence. The budgetary problems and reduced number of employees also left Regor with little if any administrative support. The number of city employees went from 50 to 39 during her tenure. Regor said there are financial challenges Cloverdale needs to work through. Some, she said, have been inflicted by the state, such as the elimination of redevelopment programs that helped finance improvements and were being counted on for future projects. Palla said the city may seek to have an interim city manager for up to six months while a search is conducted for a full-time replacement. The interim manager would be drawn from the ranks of retired city managers available through the League of California Cities. Regor stayed on the job until Jan. 23 and reported for work in Camas on Jan. 25.

Doraville, Georgia (population 8,429): The Doraville City Council approved a contract for its first city manager Tuesday, according to the DeKalb Neighbor. The move comes on the heels of a nation-wide search that began in October. After culling a field of 92 candidates, the city’s leadership tapped Shawn Gillen, a veteran public administrator of 16 years. Gillen, who has served in the same capacity for Grand Rapids, Minn. since 2007, assumes his new role April 17. Before taking the Grand Rapids post, Gillen served as assistant professor of public finance at Eastern Kentucky University. Prior to that, he served for three years as chief of staff for the city council of the Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky Urban County Government. Gillen also served a term as mayor of Monmouth, Ill. in the late 90s. Gillen holds a masters of public administration and a doctorate in public finance from the University of Kentucky. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa where he played for the Hawkeye football program. Gillen and his wife Katie have three daughters, Georgia, Lilla and Scarlett. A town of about 10,000, Gillen led the northern Minnesota hamlet of Grand Rapids through a tough financial crisis. That experience will come in handy. He will face similar challenges in Doraville, a community still reeling from General Motor’s departure in 2008. His public financing chops will also be well served as the city prepares for the plant’s eventual redevelopment. With the appointment, Doraville will shed the full-time mayor form of government, which has held sway since a 1981 referendum.  Mayor Donna Pittman will transition to the role as part-time mayor, a move she welcomes.

Aransas Pass, Texas (population 8,202): Aransas Pass’s new city manager, Sylvia Carrillo, is not at all abashed that one of her first actions was to cancel a city council meeting, according to The Aransas Pass Progress. Preparation is one of Carrillo’s strong points, she said. Though this is Carrillo’s first job as a city manager, she comes to Aransas Pass with managing experience. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from Del Mar College there before going to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for a degree in business administration. She’d have been working toward a master’s degree in business administration while an intern with the City of Corpus Christi if then-City Manager George “Skip” Noe hadn’t persuaded her to switch to public administration, she said. As a graduate student and later as an employee, Carrillo worked under the city manager in budgeting, parks and recreation, development services and mapping, among other departments, before applying for the Aransas Pass job. She started work here on Friday, Jan. 4, after being selected by city council members from a total of 44 applicants, later narrowed to seven. In Corpus Christi, she supervised a staff of 70 and a budget of $6.5 million, Castillo said. While she’s a rookie city manager, she considers her background in the area an advantage. Because of that, she knows about what she calls the “dramatic changes” at Conn Brown Harbor, with the city removing derelict boat hulks and cleaning up the harbor for future development. Her vision for Aransas Pass includes some hard work, because Carrillo believes the city is “on the cusp of some astonishing growth.” She pointed to a new pipe plant being built near Gregory as an example of industrial growth in the area. Otherwise, he said, the city will be caught unprepared.

Pismo Beach, California (population 7,655): By the time Atascadero resident Jim Lewis graduated from high school, he knew he wanted to become a city manager someday in his future, according to the Times Press Recorder. He will finally get the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong career goal. Lewis, who has served as assistant city manager in Atascadero for the past eight years, will succeed Kevin M. Rice as Pismo Beach city manager, starting Feb. 20. Rice has served as Pismo Beach city manager for the past nine years and will retire at the end of February, handing the reigns over to Lewis, who said he looks forward to helping Pismo become an even more vibrant and financially stable city. Lewis will be paid a base salary of $156,885 a year in Pismo Beach, where he competed against 80 other individuals for the job.
Currently, Lewis oversees economic development, human resources, labor relations, technology and special projects for the city of Atascadero. He said he is passionate about public service and committed to building quality and sustainable organizations that serve the public to their best and most efficient ability. That’s not to say, however, that Lewis doesn’t have ideas for helping the city create a more dynamic downtown area using both private and public resources, such as the city of Atascadero has done. He said he looks forward to assisting the city in developing more shopping and dining areas downtown, while building on the businesses already established in the area. In his role as Atascadero’s assistant city manager, Lewis has transformed the city’s downtown core by helping facilitate the construction of a new 10-screen movie theater and several new shops and restaurants and building pride among business owners. Lewis said during his time with Atascadero, and prior to that with the city of Claremont, he helped build a supportive, dedicated and entrepreneurial staff culture focused on offering high customer service to the community, something he plans to continue in Pismo Beach. He also wants to build on the city’s reputation of providing efficient and cost-effective customer service to its residents and business owners. Lewis said he also hopes to strengthen relationships with agencies such as the Coastal Commission. He said he is the type of person where “what you see is what you get,” and that he takes public service very seriously. Lewis served as president of the Municipal Management Association of Southern California in 2001 and currently serves on the Emerging Leaders Task Force for the International City and County Management Association and the ICMA Press Editorial Advisory Board. Additionally, Lewis is one of three ICMA credentialed managers in San Luis Obispo County and serves on the California-ICMA’s Committee on Ethics. He graduated with honors and received a bachelor’s degree in public policy and management from the University of Southern California. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the top-ranked school of government in the nation, the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University. The California native and his wife, Debi, have a 4-year-old daughter, Gracie. They plan to relocate to Pismo Beach after Lewis makes the transition into the role of city manager. In his spare time, Lewis enjoys reading, hiking, biking, winemaking and cooking.

Fairfax, California (population 7,441): Fairfax’s new town manager, Garrett Toy, will start in his new position on Feb. 4, according to the SanAnselmo-Fairfax Patch. The Fairfax Town Council approved a contract for Toy at its Jan. 10 meeting. He will make an annual salary of $120,000. Mayor John Reed briefly introduced Toy at the Thursday night meeting after the council approved the contract. The council and more than 15 audience members applauded after Toy’s new position was announced. Toy, who lives in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters, is currently the administrative services manager in the County of Marin’s Community Development Agency. For more than 13 years, Toy was part of the senior management team in Morgan Hill, a town south of San Jose with a population of more than 38,000. He served as the director of business assistance and housing services, overseeing Morgan Hill’s redevelopment, economic development and affordable housing activities. He has also served as the deputy director of housing and redevelopment for the city of Stockton and worked for Fairfield’s Department of Planning and Development. He has more than 23 years of experience in municipal government managing projects and programs from creation to completion, according to Fairfax town staff. Michael Rock, who was the Fairfax town manager for four and a half years, left the town in June 2012 for a position with the city of Lomita, a city with a population of over 20,000 in Southern California. Judy Anderson, the town clerk, has served as the interim town manager since Rock left.

Skiatook, Oklahoma (population 7,389): Owasso Police Chief Dan Yancey has been hired as the new city manager of Skiatook, according to the Tulsa World. The Skiatook City Council approved the move at a special meeting, Mayor Josh Brown said. Yancey, 49, who served as Skiatook police chief for 2½ years in the early 2000s, has been Owasso’s chief since January 2003. Yancey, who will start at Skiatook on Feb. 11, will move into a position formerly held by ex-town coordinator Martin Tucker, who left this summer after the municipality declined to renew his contract. Skiatook voters in November OK’d a proposition to switch from a town form of government to council-city manager template. Although he never has been a city manager, Yancey has more than 28 years in law enforcement, including stints at the Pawhuska Police Department and the Osage County Sheriff’s Office. Brown said he worked with Yancey in the sheriff’s office. Yancey will receive a two-year contract with an annual base salary of $70,000, plus benefits, Brown said. Yancey said years ago he had planned on retiring from law enforcement when he turned 50, which is less than a month away. Owasso City Manager Rodney Ray said the municipality expects to name Deputy Police Chief Scott Chambless as interim police chief.

Guadalupe, California (population 7,132): The city of Guadalupe is getting a new City Administrator at the expense of the San Luis Obispo City Council, according to KCOY.  Andrew Carter is stepping down to take the full time job of City Administrator for Guadalupe. According to SLO City, Carter has served on the City Council since 2006, and is currently filling a term that will expire on December 1, 2014. Council Member Carter’s last day as a Council Member for the City of San Luis Obispo will be February 20, 2013 and that will be the day on which the vacancy will occur for appointment purposes. After more than six years on the City Council, Carter’s contributions will be missed by many. Mr. Carter is known for his analytical abilities, focus on financial trends (especially regarding City expenditures), and an unwavering commitment to the role and responsibilities of the City Council. During his term on the Council, Carter became a strong advocate for pension reform and voted with the majority of the City Council to create second-tier pension formulas for all City employee groups.

Live Oak, Florida (population 6,918): The Live Oak City Council met Dec. 18 to interview four candidates for the city administrator job, according to the Suwanee Democrat. They ended by hiring Joseph Miranti of Saint Cloud, Florida. 
Miranti claims to have 25 years in county government and has worked for the counties of Osceola and Madison. He has a master’s degree in business administration and organization management. 
He said he is trained to be resourceful in “getting the job done with as little amount of money possible and still provide the services that the citizens need.”
 Miranti takes over the job from Bob Farley who was sacked by the council in October. Miranti was scheduled to begin work on Dec. 27. 

He said his two main goals are simple: develop communication with the employees, councilman and community to make it an open line of communication and storm recovery. 
He said he once had to cut $500,000 out of a budget and did so without letting any employees go. 
Miranti has lived in Florida all his life, starting in south Florida, then central Florida and will now be living in north Florida. 
The vote to hire Miranti was 3-2 with councilmen Keith Mixon and Bennie Thomas voting against. Mixon and Thomas said they weren’t overly impressed with either candidate interviewed. Mixon wanted to at least interview Miranti and the other top point getter again. 
The council used a point system for each candidate based on different strengths. The top two point getters were David Kraus followed by Miranti. However, there was never a motion made that stated the top point getter would be offered the job first. Councilman Jacob Grantham, who chose Miranti to be interviewed, made a motion to hire him. This was seconded by council president Adam Prins. 
Miranti’s salary was voted to be $65,000 a year. The salary range for the job is $60-70,000 per year. 
The other interviewees were Andrew DeCandis, Kraus and Timothy Williams.

West Bridgewater, Massachusetts (population 6,916): Town Administrator Beth Faricy is retiring in June after 21 years on the job, according to the Boston Globe. Applications for the job are being accepted until Feb. 22, and officials expect to screen and interview candidates in March. The search committee includes Superintendent of Schools Patricia Oakley, Town Clerk Nancy Morrison, Town Accountant John Duggan, Water Commissioner and Planning Board member Hugh Hurley, and resident Jack Hughes. The town administrator is appointed by the three-member Board of Selectmen.

Ivins, Utah (population 6,774): The Ivins City Council named City Attorney Dale Coulam as the replacement for City Manager Judy Gubler, who retired in November, according to The Spectrum. “You’re hired!” Mayor Chris Hart said after the council worked through concerns about whether Coulam would be able to simultaneously fill not only the city’s chief executive position, but the city attorney position he has held since 2004 while also continuing to fulfill some of the human resources and administrative services responsibilities he had also assumed during the course of his eight years with the city. Since 2005, Coulam served as acting city manager when Gubler was absent, and has been serving as her interim replacement since she retired. Councilmembers estimated the city will save more than $100,000 per year by combining the jobs, once benefits and salary are considered. Coulam said he will be paid about $120,000 to fill the two jobs that were each worth more than $100,000 previously. The new responsibilities will require him to work evenings and some weekends, but he was accustomed to a similar schedule during his years of private practice as an attorney, he said. Councilman George Elwell said he had wrestled with doubts about whether combining the two jobs placed too much power in one person’s hands, but had similarly determined that the city’s interests are being protected and that his doubts were unfounded at this time.

Princeton, WV (population 6,453): The City of Princeton welcomed a new city manager Jan. 15, according to the Princeton TimesCity Attorney Paul Cassell asked the City Council to approve a contract with Elke Doom, currently of Port Huron Township, Mich. Cassell told the council that he had prepared a draft of the contract which was approved by Doom and the Council needed to act so she could sign. Tim Ealy motioned and Jimm Norman seconded Cassell’s recommendation to approve the contract with Doom. The motion was approved 5-0. Council members Dewey Russell and John Wilborn were not at the meeting. Doom took over for the retiring Wayne Shumate and interim City Manager Wanda Donahue who was elected to serve until a replacement could be found. Doom previously served as supervisor/manager of the Huron Charter Township. In her letter of application for the position, she cited her experience with managing a budget, the 49 employees of the township, and her experience with economic development. Doom has also served as Manager/Assessor for York Charter Township, Mich., Tax Assessor for LaSalle Township, Mich., and as a Property Appraiser/Tax Assessor. She has degrees from Henry Ford Community College, Siena Heights University, and Saginaw Valley State University. She also has attended professional training at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Michigan State University, and the Michigan Township Governance Academy.

Eudora, Kansas (population 6,217): Eudora City Administrator John Harrenstein announced his resignation, effective March 1, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. Harrenstein, who gave notice of his resignation Monday to the Eudora City Council, has accepted a similar position with the City of North Mankato, Minn. He’s been the city administrator since 2009. Harrenstein said he has enjoyed his time in Eudora, but the opening in Minnesota will bring him closer to his family in Iowa. North Mankato has a population of about 13,000 and is close to the Iowa border. The citizens of Eudora “welcomed me into their town,” he said. Harrenstein is the third high-ranking city official to resign in recent months, with the city recently hiring a new police and fire chief. But Harrenstein said the turnover “is in no way a negative reflection” of the city, which he said is “poised for great things.” In his three years with the city, Harrenstein said he’s most proud of helping build the city’s financial infrastructure and reorganizing the city’s administration. Harrenstein said he will help the city find a replacement.

Wadesboro, North Carolina (population 5,710): Alex Sewell began his first day as the new Wadesboro town manager on Jan. 7, filling John Witherspoon’s seat that Cecil Wood had been holding in the interim, according to the Anson Record. Sewell was born and raised in Wake County. A licensed attorney, he went to law school in a J.D./M.P.A. program, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class and tying for the highest class GPA. Sewell just finished his course work for the M.P.A and is excited for his new position. Sewell enjoys working out, outdoor activities, and playing guitar, describing himself as a “laid-back guy.” Sewell formerly worked as an assistant in the city manager’s office in the town of Apex while in school, helping to prepare him for his new role. Sewell has experience in all phases of municipal administration, according to a press release he sent Monday evening. This includes experience in economic development, strategic planning, public works, finance, public safety, grant-writing, human resources and municipal law. Although he isn’t native to Wadesboro, Sewell had been through town before and when he became interested in the position he took the time to look deeper into the town. Sewell intends to focus on planning, partnerships and community. To accomplish all of this, Sewell said he needs to learn about the community by listening. Wadesboro Mayor Bill Thacker is pleased with Sewell’s appointment. Sewell has high hopes for the town.

Columbus, Wisconsin (population 4,997): City administrator Boyd Kraemer informed Mayor Robert Link on Dec. 19 that he intended to retire effective Jan. 15, according to the Portage Daily Register. The Columbus City Council approved an employee retirement agreement for him, but no details were released. The council approved city clerk Anne Donahue and finance director/treasurer Kim Manley to serve as acting co-administrators during the interim. Each will receive $250 per week in extra salary while performing these duties. Link said that the council will present a plaque to Kraemer at an upcoming council meeting. Kraemer has been city administrator since April 30, 2007. The council plans to undertake a search for a new city administrator that is expected to take several months.

Bulverde, Texas (population 4,780): The new city administrator for Bulverde was the salutatorian of the class of 2000 at Smithson Valley High School, according to the San Antonio Express-NewsE.A. Hoppe was selected on Dec. 11 by the Bulverde City Council to serve as the city administrator. He began his career in public management with the city of Richardson in 2004 as an intern in the finance department while completing his bachelors degree in economics at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he graduated summa cum aude. Hoppe then served as a management analyst in Richardson’s city manager’s office while completing a master’s degree in public administration at the University of North Texas‘ nationally acclaimed city management program, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2006. While there he was awarded the Hatton W. Sumners fellowship, selected as the 2005 Texas City Management Association’s Clarence E. Ridley Scholar and the 2004 North Texas City Management Association‘s William J. Pitstick Scholar. Hoppe went on to serve as the assistant to the city manager in Richardson in 2008, and was promoted to assistant director of community services in 2011. He is a graduate of Leadership Richardson (Class XXIII), the Richardson Citizens Police Academy (Class XXX), and the Richardson Citizens Fire Academy (Class XII). He is also a graduate of Leadership ICMA (International City and County Managers Association, Class of 2012) and is active in ICMA and the Texas City Managers Association. He has also served on the executive board for the Urban Management Assistants of North Texas (UMANT) and Leadership Richardson. Hoppe graduated as Salutatorian from Smithson Valley High School in 2000. His wife Ashley is also a SVHS graduate, and they are the parents of two boys, Patrick and Kolby. Hoppe began his duties as city administrator Jan. 2.

Blaine, Washington (population 4,744): Gary Tomsic will retire as Blaine city manager at the end of June – leaving the post he will have held for 13 years for new adventures that include more visits with his children and grandchildren and a 500-mile walking pilgrimage in Spain, according to The News Tribune. The City Council will interview two firms Monday, Jan. 28, and pick one to search for city manager candidates. Tomsic’s tenure in Blaine began February 2000 when he was hired to serve as interim city manager before being selected permanently for the post in July of the same year. City Councilwoman Bonnie Onyon picked him for both positions. She praised Tomsic for putting Blaine on better financial footing in the short time that he served as interim city manager. Onyon also lauded Tomsic for being active in the community. As city manager, Tomsic hires and fires all staff, and oversees Blaine’s finances. The city has about 60 employees and an annual budget of roughly $30 million. His annual salary is $108,000. He said he was proud of the city’s care of its infrastructure, which prepares Blaine for growth. Other accomplishments include a consistent program of improving streets, construction of a new fire station and wastewater treatment plant, as well as the purchase of the Banner Bank building for a new City Hall. As for his greatest challenges, that included providing good financial stewardship of the city, especially during the last few years and with the December closure of the Semiahmoo Hotel. In addition to the loss of 224 jobs at Blaine’s largest employer, the closure – and the associated loss in revenue from sales and utility excise taxes – added to a shortfall in the city’s general fund that eventually totaled $536,000. The closure’s impact will remain an issue for the new city manager. Another challenge during Tomsic’s tenure included successfully negotiating an agreement with the Lummis after work crews dug up truckloads of dirt that contained Indian remains during a planned expansion of Blaine’s wastewater treatment plant on Semiahmoo Spit. (The city abandoned that expansion.) That negotiation, his first big assignment, took more than a year, Tomsic said, but he believed it was successful – noting it was done in a way that wasn’t adversarial and allowed the city to continue working with the tribe “in a positive way.” What’s next for Tomsic, a lifelong fly fisherman, and auctioneer by avocation who has used his skills to help raise money for fundraisers? There will be visits to children and grandchildren in Colorado and Florida. Maybe a little consulting work, and some volunteering. And then there’s the “camino de Santiago” pilgrimage in Spain – a 500-mile walk popularized by the 2010 movie “The Way” that Tomsic and his wife will begin in September. Although it has existed as a Christian pilgrimage for centuries, Tomsic said his inspiration for the trek isn’t religious so much as it is a chance to explore something new.

Russell, Kansas (population 4,497): Interim Russell City Manager Jon Quinday is no longer interim, according to the Hays Post.  Russell City Council members voted last week to offer Quinday a two-year contract as Russell City Manager, Quinday, the Russell Police Chief, was named interim city manager last September after previous Russell City Manager Ralph Wise resigned in August.  Quinday has resigned as police chief, a position he’s held since July 2009. Captain Dale Weimaster has been appointed Interim Russell Police Chief.

Centreville, Maryland (population 4,334): The Centreville Town Council voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Town Manager Bob McGrory and appointed Steve Walls as acting town manager on Thursday, Jan. 3, according to My Eastern Shore. McGrory’s resignation follows him being charged with driving while intoxicated at about 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day while driving a car owned by the town. The town council held two special closed sessions on Wednesday, Jan. 2 and Thursday, Jan. 3, with Police Chief Charles Rhodes, Town Attorney Steve Kehoe and Town Clerk Carolyn Brinkley where the council made their vote to accept McGrory’s resignation and to appoint Walls. Walls said his position is temporary but the council can decide to make his position permanent at a later time. Walls was previously the director of public works for the town. McGrory could not be reached for comment.

North Hampton, New Hampshire (population 4,259): The North Hampton Select Board announced Wednesday the selection of Paul Apple as the new town administrator, according to Seacoast Online. Apple has served as the town administrator in Allenstown since 2010. The Select Board said Apple brings to the community extensive municipal experience including past service as a Select Board and Budget Committee member in Mt. Vernon. Apple is also a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association and during his legal career has represented both municipalities and school districts. Apple’s compensation has been established at $80,000 per year, and was expected to start work in North Hampton on Jan. 17, 2013. The Select Board’s decision is contingent upon the completion of a satisfactory background review, which is currently underway. Apple will replace Steve Fournier, who vacated the position of town administrator in August, to take the administrator job in Newmarket.

Fruitland Park, Florida (population 4,078): Ralph Bowers resigned Jan. 11 as city manager in the midst of a swirling controversy surrounding a two-year affair he had with a city employee that sparked a criminal investigation, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Terms of the resignation included the 73-year-old Bowers receiving 160 hours of vacation pay, which totals more than $6,500, his attorney Chris Largey said. Bowers’ resignation comes on the heels of a State Attorney’s Office decision not to file criminal charges against Bowers for sexual battery against the city employee. In interviews with investigators, the woman said there were five forced incidents of sexual contact, in which she refused sexual activity, but he forced her to continue, a sheriff’s investigative report said. However, prosecutors said Wednesday there wasn’t enough physical or medical evidence to pursue charges. Also, the woman had admitted to accepting gifts and money from Bowers during the two-year sexual relationship and she admitted that she had initially consented to the sexual activity, a report said. Largey said the allegations against Bowers, who became manager in 2006, were meritless. Last month, city commissioners unanimously agreed to fire Bowers and, according to city rules, were set to have a public hearing next week to give Bowers a chance to contest his dismissal. Bowers’ attorney and city officials negotiated the terms of his resignation. Acting City Manager Diane Gibson Smith said she was surprised Bowers accepted the terms, which commissioners approved during a meeting Thursday night. Commissioners started to review resumes for an interim city manager within the first two weeks so she can return to her previous job as the city clerk, Smith said. The Range Riders, a group of retired city and county managers, is conducting the search, she added. It’s unclear when commissioners will find a permanent replacement for Bowers, who admitted to an affair with a city employee that was also the subject of an investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Pine Island, Minnesota (population 3,272): The broom that swept away half the Pine Island city council last November took one more as the three new council members voted to eliminate the position of city administrator and terminate the city’s most recent contract with Abraham Algadi, according to the Post Bulletin. Algadi has held the post since 2006 and has been one of the most vocal backers of the city’s Elk Run development, an ambitious plan for a biobusiness park and surrounding residences, offices and stores, which has been slow to get off the ground. Mayor Rod Steele, who voted against the motion, said it’s totally unrelated to the ongoing questions surrounding the Elk Run project. Karen Doll, executive director of Pine Island’s Economic Development Authority, said the Elk Run project “will move forward” but otherwise declined comment. At Tuesday’s meeting, new councilman Nick Novak moved to eliminate the position of city administrator and direct the city’s staff to amend the city code appropriately, dividing the administrator duties among the city’s staff members. New councilmen Erik Diskerud and Randy Bates joined Novak in voting to eliminate the position. Councilman Jerry Vettel and Steele voted against the motion. Novak said his goal in cutting the position was to cut spending. Cutting the post would save about $100,000 per year, he said, after paying Algadi a six-month buyout that includes vacation pay, sick leave and benefits. Department managers would handle anything related to their departments that Algadi had formerly taken care of, he said, and employees could be cross-trained. The move takes effect immediately, as a city official said Wednesday morning that Algadi was expected to be in later to clean out his desk. Steele said the city has quality people who can step up to perform Algadi’s duties, a comment echoed by Novak. The decision was preceded by public comment both for and against the move. Before his contract was terminated, Algadi said he would be happy to help with any transition period for the city, but after the contract termination, he said of the move to cut his position, “I do sense a sinister dark vein of intolerance.” Algadi was not available for comment today. Novak said he likes Algadi but simply wanted to cut the highest salary on the city payroll to save money.

Justin, Texas (population 3,246): The Justin City Council considered appointing a new interim city manager Jan. 22 in a called special meeting after Mike Evans announced plans to retire, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. The city manager’s last day was Friday. Evans decided to call it quits last week after 15 years of service and one month after being appointed city manager in December. Mayor Greg Scott said it’s a little surprising to see Evans retire so suddenly after he was appointed to the position in mid-December. The council will consider appointing a temporary city manager or delegating the position’s responsibilities to various city staff members, Scott said. Scott said he’s known Evans for about seven years. He said it’ll be difficult to see Evans leave, but officials will make sure the city moves forward without any problems. Evans worked for the city for 15 years in public works, administration and other departments. He’s resigning after working in his current position for a little over two months. Evans served as Justin’s first city manager as an interim after residents voted for the creation of the position during the Nov. 6 election. Many residents opposed the creation of the position because they felt it would only add to the cost of government.However, Justin residents approved converting the city to a council-manager form of government by a vote of 734 to 469. Because Justin’s 2012-13 budget was already in place at the time the city manager position was approved, city officials agreed to pull from its reserves to pay for any unbudgeted items, including the city manager’s salary. Scott said his personal goal is to have a new manager hired within the next 60 days, but he said council members would determine the timeline. Evans could not be reached for comment, but in a recent interview earlier this month he gave no indication that he would retire anytime soon. Evans retirement is the city’s second in a month. Kim Strange was appointed city secretary after Virginia Blevins stepped down because of health reasons.

Hillsville, Virginia (population 2,675): Travis Jackson, area director for USDA, Rural Development for the past 32 years, has been named the new town manager for Hillsville, according to the Carroll News. Jackson’s hiring was approved during the Hillsville Town Council meeting on Jan. 14 by unanimous vote. “We’ve been in the process of interviewing for a long time, but I’m glad to announce we have reached an agreement with Mr. Travis Jackson,” said Councilman Ed Terry, who then made the motion to approve Jackson as the town manager, effective Feb. 1. Although this will be first time Jackson has served in the role of town manager, he said the issues facing a rural town in Southwest Virginia aren’t new to him. Jackson added that he welcomed the chance to serve in a new capacity. As area director for USDA, Rural Development, Jackson, 55, managed 20 employees serving 19 counties and five cities in Virginia. During his career, Jackson has supervised field staffs in all areas of the state. He was also responsible for administering USDA Loan and Grant Programs for single-family housing, multi-family housing, community facilities, rural utilities, and business and industry. During the past five years alone, Jackson has been responsible for the management and administration of a budget of over $613,000,000 program dollars. He maintained a zero percent delinquency rate for loans in group programs and was recognized by the USDA Administrator for consistently having one of the highest producing offices in the nation. In addition, Jackson was appointed by the Rural Development Administrator to assist in the development of a training program for the nation’s staff. As a self-employed consultant, Jackson has provided services to industries for training employees in management, communication and sales, and for health care management related companies. Jackson developed a tele-marketing training model for a national pharmaceutical company, and developed a guide for a 50-member hospital health care system to be used for board and medical staff. Jackson, a recipient of 34 USDA Distinguished Service Awards, was named the 1993 National USDA Employee of the Year. He was named a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow in 1998, and received the Duke LifePoint Healthcare Board Leadership Award in 2008. In 2009, he was honored by Duke LifePoint Healthcare WCCH Emergency Department’s dedication of the Travis Jackson Wing in 2009. Among Jackson’s other activities and achievements are: past member and president of Hospice of Wythe-Bland, Inc.; past board member, president and campaign chairman of the Wythe County United Way; past drive chairman of the Wytheville Community College Foundation; past board member and chairman of the Housing Committee of H.O.P.E., Inc.; past advisory board member of Southwest Virginia Governor’s School; chairman of the board of the Wythe County Community Hospital Foundation; board member of Wythe County Community College board of trustees; member of the Virginia Rural Health Association; and member of the Appalachian Funders Network. Jackson also brokered a lease of Wythe County Community Hospital and established a community foundation with the proceeds of the pre-paid lease for health education and welfare of Wythe and Bland County citizens.

El Paso, Illinois (population 2,824): Tanner Fortney likes El Paso, but he’ll no longer need to wish he was in Kansas, according to the Journal Star. The El Paso city administrator submitted his resignation last week. Fortney’s final day there is to be Feb. 22. On March 4, he is to become a senior management analyst for Johnson County, Kan., part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. It’s also a move home. Fortney is from Spring Hill, Kan., a city of about 5,000 located in southern Johnson County. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kansas. Prior to his move to El Paso in March 2010, Fortney worked for the city of Olathe, Kan., the Johnson County seat. In his new job, Fortney is to work with the assistant and deputy county managers regarding corrections, emergency management and communications and health and environment, among other areas. The county is responsible for local ambulance service. El Paso has about 3,000 residents. Johnson County’s population is about 550,000. The county’s median household and per-capita incomes also are among the highest in the United States. Helping to balance municipal budgets, after the general fund was in deficit for about 10 years, was one of Fortney’s biggest accomplishments in El Paso, he said. That was done in part through implementation of long-range plans, spending cuts and increases in sewer and water rates. The council hasn’t decided on a process to find Fortney’s replacement, although he plans to share ideas about how to proceed, he said. That might be a parting gift to a community he said was welcoming.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina (population 2,521): Former Carolina Beach Town Manager, Tim Owens, was named the new Town Manager of Wrightsville Beach, according to WECT. The Board of Aldermen made the decision Dec. 31 while meeting in a closed session. More than 50 people applied for the position and 11 were interviewed. Owens resigned from his position in Carolina Beach in November, along with the mayor and a councilman. After being in the position for more than six years, the Wrightsville Beach mayor said Owens was chosen for his experience with coastal communities. The new town manager said he is trying to move forward from his time in Carolina Beach. Owens started in Wrightsville Beach January 8. Residents attended a meet and greet session January 10.

Fair Haven, Vermont (population 2,269): The new town manager said he is very excited to start in his new post, according to the Rutland Herald. Herbert Durfee III of Grand Isle was hired December 20 following an executive session with the Fair Haven Select Board in which salary negotiations were discussed but not disclosed. He is set to begin Jan. 28. Durfee was unanimously chosen by the Select Board after he was recommended to the post by the town’s search committee last week. He was one of 35 candidates considered for the position by the committee. Durfee said he will be moving down to Fair Haven from Grand Isle with his family. The terms of Durfee’s contract, which includes salary and benefits, were not immediately disclosed. The town manager post has sat empty since the former town manager, Peter Hathaway, resigned in July citing disagreements and an impasse between him and the Select Board. Hathaway, who had been hired about 17 months before, had replaced Serena Williams. A 12-person committee that included the five members of the Select Board and seven members from other committees in town was appointed to weed through the applications. The committee interviewed 10 candidates by phone and five in person. In the interim, Fair Haven Police Chief William Humphries was appointed to the position. His contact was extended in October for another 90 days because of delays in the hiring process. He said his time in the position has been satisfying, especially after the town was able to begin the road project by Depot Street bridge. He said he is happy to be going back to full-time police chief. He said there will probably be a week or two of transition time with Durfee before he hands over the reins to the town.

Veazie, Maine (population 1,919): Town Manager Joseph Hayes tendered his resignation Jan. 7 after an executive session held to discuss an unspecified personnel matter, according to the Bangor Daily News. Hayes, who previously served as Stockton Springs’ manager, was hired as Veazie’s manager a year ago. Hayes’ resignation, effective on Jan. 31, was accepted in a 3-2 vote, with Councilors Joseph Friedman, Jon Parker and Christopher Bagley voting in favor and Council Chairman Tammy Olson and Councilor Brian Perkins voting against. Town councilors then voted 5-0 to appoint Police Chief Mark Leonard interim town manager. Hayes declined Tuesday to say what prompted him to resign. Parker, the only town councilor who could be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon and early evening, confirmed that the executive session was held to conduct Hayes’ annual performance review. After the councilors returned to open session, Parker said, Hayes “stated that due to his poor review he was tendering his resignation.” On Tuesday, Hayes said he plans to spend the time between now and his departure getting the annual budget development process under way and meeting with department heads. Hayes, who is 58, did confirm that he had one year left on his two-year contract, which does not expire until Dec. 31. Hayes said he did not have any immediate employment plans. Information about a severance deal was not immediately available Tuesday morning. A signed copy of Hayes’ employment agreement was among the documents contained in the council’s Dec. 19, 2011, agenda package. According to the document, dated Dec. 5, 2011, Hayes’ starting annual gross salary was set at $50,000. The contract also provided for accrued vacation time, group health and dental benefits or a fixed financial contribution in lieu of those benefits. Hayes also was provided life insurance equal to his annual salary, disability benefits based on 70 percent of his yearly pay and an allowance for use of his own vehicle for town business, reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses and the use of a cellphone. The council waived the residency requirement for the term of the agreement. The agreement also allowed Hayes to resign “at any time from his position with the Town. Provided, however, that in the event of resignation without a prior 60-day notice, the Town Manager shall forfeit accumulated sick leave and vacation.” Leonard, who has served brief periods as interim manager in the past, accepted the mission. Hayes, who also served as town administrator in Lamoine from 1988 to 1992, worked at the Bangor Daily News starting at age 16 in the press room. Later in his newspaper career, he became an assistant to the production manager and then moved to the credit collection department. He left the BDN in 2004. Hayes’ hiring in Veazie ended a 2½-month search after the council chose not to renew Town Manager Bill Reed’s contract in September 2011. After Reed left, the town hired Larry Varisco, a retired Holden town manager, to temporarily fill the role on a part-time basis while the search was under way. Varisco had been working two or three days per week handling the town manager’s duties.

Bangor, Michigan (population 1,885): City Council members are beginning to seek a replacement for City Manager Joe Sobieralski, who is leaving at month’s end, according to The Herald-Palladium. Meanwhile, the council agreed Monday to seek an interim manager through the Michigan Municipal League. Council members said they want one in place within a week or so. One interim candidate had shown interest as of Tuesday. City officials expect to hear from several others before making a recommendation. The interim manager would most likely work two to three days a week for three to six months to give the council time to find a permanent, full-time manager. Sobieralski will become executive director of the Southwestern Economic Growth Alliance in Niles on Feb. 4. The council hired Sobieralski in June 2012. His contract called for a 30-day notice if he chose to find employment elsewhere. On Jan. 1 Sobieralski issued a brief resignation letter to the council. Sobieralski dealt with several Bangor controversies, including a lawsuit from the Downtown Development Authority. But Sobieralski said he is not [leaving] because of the lawsuit. SMEGA works with 11 municipalities to promote economic growth in southern Berrien County.

Haymarket, Virginia (population 1,802): Haymarket Town Manager Gene Swearingen recently resigned his position with the Town of Haymarket. Swearingen’s resignation came after the Haymarket Town Council held a special meeting on Dec. 19 to discuss matters that had “come to light,” said Haymarket Vice Mayor Jay Tobias. While Tobias couldn’t be specific because the issue was a “personnel matter,” he said the council voted unanimously to suspend Swearingen with pay. The council was scheduled to make a decision on the matter during its next regularly scheduled meeting. Swearingen submitted his letter of resignation about a week after the Dec. 13 meeting, Tobias said. According to town records, invoices sent to the Haymarket Town Hall will be reviewed by staff, the mayor, and vice mayor, “until further notice.” Water, sewer, electric, gas, telephone, cable and other bills will excluded from review, according to the minutes of the Dec. 13 special meeting. Haymarket Mayor David Leake said utility bills along with the others didn’t need review. Leake said he thought Swearingen my have been overloaded with work when he was put in charge of overseeing the repair and maintenance of the Hullfish House and the Old Post Office, two historic buildings in the town. Leake said he thought Swearingen had simply had enough. Leake said he didn’t think the situation would go any further.

Becket, Massachusetts (population 1,779): Following a review of evaluation forms, the Becket Select Board has begun a search for a new town administrator after recently deciding not to extend the appointment of Craig Kleman, according to The Berkshire Eagle. At the Dec. 12 select board meeting, Chair Mark Karlberg said that former Sheffield Town Administrator Joseph Kellogg will be appointed as a part-time interim replacement. Karlberg said that the board is aiming to hire a permanent full-time town administrator by April or May. The decision was made after the conclusion of the last select board meeting on Dec. 5. Kleman has been the town administrator since about March 2011. His six-month appointment ends at the end of the month. The position paid about $51,500 per year with health benefits. Karlberg would not elaborate why the select board decided to conduct a search for a new town administrator, but he said that the evaluations filled out by department heads and the select board members in November played a large role. Karlberg said that there was no legal misconduct. He complimented Kleman on his organization skills, but he said the select board decided to go search for another candidate. Since joining the board, Kleman wrote that he has overseen computer system improvements. He also applied for grant funding for Fire Station #2, state Green Communities money for energy efficiency, along with the everyday work of managing the town departments. Karlberg said that Kellogg will be paid $45 an hour. He said the Select Board will solicit applications for committee members that will review town administrator resumes.

Henniker, New Hampshire (population 1,747): Tom Yennerell has had a whirlwind winter thus far, leaving his home behind in Colorado to come to Henniker’s to serve as the new town administrator, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. Despite the chaos, Yennerell is happy to be home in New England again. Yennerell, 59, began serving as town administrator earlier this month and said the transition into his new post has been smooth. He has 16 years experience as a town administrator, serving 10 years in Rutland, Vt., before chasing a dream that led him west to try life in Colorado. For five years Yennerell managed the town of Mancos, population 1,330, a remote area of the state where ancient Pueblo people made their homes. But despite the beauty and quiet of the area, Yennerell and his wife began longing to return to the East Coast.  While continuing to work in Mancos, Yennerell said he kept an eye on job postings in New Hampshire and when the Henniker job opened up, he jumped at the chance. He applied, went through a rigorous vetting process, and eventually landed the job. Yennerell said the biggest challenge about starting his new job in January is timing. Yennerell said his goal is to ensure that the town is meeting the needs of the taxpayers while preparing for the future, a balance that is difficult to strike when the economy is uncertain. But the challenges aren’t overwhelming, said Yennerell, and the benefits of being in Henniker are vast.

Kremling, Colorado (population 1,414): Tuesday, Jan. 22, was the first day on the job for Kremmling’s new town manager Mark Campbell, according to the Sky-Hi News. He and his two cats Stan and Ollie moved to Kremmling last week from Missouri, where he had worked as a city administrator at the small gaming community of LaGrange. There, a large part of Campbell’s job concerned city issues in dealing with flooding of the Mississippi River, he said. In 2008, Campbell received a congressional medal of merit for his work in the aftermath of the floods that year. Originally from Northern Ireland, Campbell has been living and working in the states for the past 20 years. He lived for a short time in Baker, Montana, and in taking the Kremmling position, “There was a part of me that wanted to move out West again,” he said. Kremmling, he said, is similar to Montana scenic attributes and lifestyle. For mountainous areas, Campbell said, the people “choose to be here.” The manager earned his masters in public affairs at Cleveland State University, College of Urban Affairs in Cleveland, Ohio. During his first day on the job on Tuesday, he traveled to Gypsum with interim Kremmling town manager Dick Blodgett for a meeting on regional collaboration on green management opportunities, such as use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, resource conservation and environmental preservation. According to Kremmling Mayor Tom Clark, Blodgett plans to stay for at least a week to ensure a “smooth transition” of the town’s management. Campbell, who survived two interviews for the job, was among a pool of top five finalists out of 60 candidates Kremmling officials chose, Clark said. Kremmling did offer the job to two others who either did not take the job or dropped out of the running, he said. Campbell’s “all-round experience” appealed to Clark, from “water, waste water and grant writing to emergency management and flood mitigation.” The new manager’s goals at present are to simply “try and advance the town forward” with its own agenda of attracting and retaining businesses and upgrading the town’s infrastructure, while trying to find the needed funds to do so.

Lake Park, Iowa (population 1,120): The appeal of a small town with attractive amenities caught the attention of new Lake Park City Administrator Wade Wagoner, according to the Dickinson County News. The Parkersburg native was making a couple of trips to the area with his wife when he encountered welcoming spirit of the community. The Lake Park City Council must have liked what they saw as well: Wagoner took over for George McGuire who recently stepped down to be closer to family. Wagoner began his new position Jan. 2. The new city administrator received his undergraduate degree at Northwest Missouri State and obtained his masters at Missouri State University — Southwest Missouri State at the time. City planning was a focus of his education. He and his wife, Amanda have a daughter, Elizabeth, who is about to celebrate her second birthday. Wagoner has held three different job titles in the past 15 years. He was a senior planner in Waterloo, served as the community development director in Kearney, Mo. and has been with the Brick Industry for the past six years. The company helps communities with architectural and design standards in an eight-state area. Wagoner’s position with the Brick Industry was coming to a close at the end of the year. He pursued other offers but zeroed in on the Lake Park opening. During his time in the private sector, Wagoner noted that often didn’t get to see his company’s numerous projects through to their conclusion. Wagoner isn’t afraid to admit that he new to the surrounding at his new job, but knows what it is like to be involved in a small, tight-knit community. The new city administrator grew in Parkersburg, which has a population of around 2,000. In addition, Wagoner said he plans to offer a few cosmetic tweaks for the community, whether through changing of the street lighting or sprucing up the main street. He also touched on the need for a housing development for families that are new to town and don’t necessarily plan to purchase a house right away. Wagoner’s enthusiasm for his new position is sure to excite the Lake Park community.

Grundy, Virginia (population 1,021): Grundy’s town manager, Roger Powers, died Dec. 19 at his home, according to TriCities.com. The 78-year-old man was a lifelong Southwest Virginian, a businessman and an athlete, according to his obituary. Powers had served as Grundy’s Town Manager since January 2011, and was the owner of Excello Oil Corporation, the obituary said. He was a U.S. Army veteran, a Mason and a member of the Grundy Lions Club. He most recently served as the chair of the finance committee at the Appalachian School of Law as a member of the school’s Board of Trustees, and also was a trustee of the Appalachian College of Pharmacy. Powers is survived by his wife, daughters and grandchildren.

White Springs, Florida (population 769): The town of White Springs has just announced the hiring of their new town manager, former Live Oak city administrator Bob Farley, who began his first day on the job Wednesday, Jan. 2, according to the Suwanee Democrat. Farley was let go as city administrator of Live Oak in early October by a 3-2 vote of the Live Oak City Council. Bob Farley was born in White Plains, N.Y. and earned his Associate in Applied Science from the State University of New York at Delhi. He moved to Florida in 1971 after working in Philadelphia, Pa. for the Penn Central Railroad. According to a press release from the town of White Springs, Farley has about 44 years experience, including working in the civil engineering field of water and wastewater design and construction, and serving as operations director for a telecommunication (cellular) design and construction company. Most recently Farley also worked as public works director for the city of Live Oak. During his tenure in Live Oak, Farley was named City Administrator/Manager of the Year in 2010 by the Florida Rural Water Association. He has completed all necessary National Incident Management System (NIMS) as required by FEMA/Homeland Security for Command & General Staff – Complex Incidents.  Additionally, he has completed classes in budgeting and ethics given by the Florida League of Cities. Farley, Miller stated, has spoken throughout the state regarding how small cities can improve their water and wastewater systems through DEP/SRF low interest programs. The city of Live Oak was able to upgrade their wastewater treatment plant, which cost $16 million. Two million of that cost was passed on to the citizens of Live Oak. Farley is married to Charlotte and they have four daughters, Gina, Crystal, Angela and Shay.

Transitions: Douglas County, NE; Pasco County, FL; Chesapeake, VA and more

Douglas County, Nebraska (population 517,110): The Douglas County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to make Patrick Bloomingdale the county administrator come February, according to The Omaha World Herald. Bloomingdale, 43, has worked the past 10 years as deputy county administrator. He joined the county in 1993 as a deputy county attorney in the civil division. The board agreed to increase Bloomgindale’s salary to $138,000 in February. His salary will climb to $142,500 after three months in the new job. Bloomingdale currently makes about $87,000. Bloomingdale will replace Kathleen Kelley, who will retire at the end of January. Kelley, who turns 66 next month, has been with the county for 24 years, 15 of them as county administrator.

Pasco County, Florida (population 464,697): The man who took over Pasco County’s scandal-ridden county government more than 30 years ago will soon release his tight grip on power, according to the Tampa Bay Times. County Administrator John Gallagher told the Tampa Bay Times he will retire in late spring, giving county commissioners a transition period while they search for his successor. Gallagher has been a leading figure in local government, transforming a once-rural county poised for exploding growth. He is one of the pioneers of the Suncoast Parkway. In recent years, he aggressively tried to shed the county’s status as a bedroom community with few major industries. City and county managers in Florida have an average tenure of less than seven years. Hernando has had nine county administrators since 1990. Gallagher will retire a few weeks after his 31st anniversary. He is the longest-serving county administrator in Florida history. He also loves to spar with developers to secure the best possible deal for the county on a major project. Consider recent negotiations with the Porter family on a proposed tourism sports complex in Wesley Chapel intended to lure regional tournaments. His staff avoided him during the talks, saying he wasn’t smiling much. Gallagher’s departure is not wholly unexpected. Commissioners elected this year said they expected to choose a successor during their four-year term. Several veteran deputies recently retired, including budget chief and close confidant Mike Nurrenbrock. Ann Hildebrand, an ally on the commission for almost his entire tenure, just stepped down from her office. Gallagher did not arrive in county government at its finest hour. Commission Chairman Barry Doyle was part of a three-vote majority to hire him in March 1982. A week into the job, two members of the state attorney’s office visited Gallagher’s office to tell him about a grand jury investigation. Within six months, Doyle was indicted for accepting bribes from men who did business with the county. Part of the grand jury’s work included a series of recommendations to clean up county government. Gallagher knew the county was headed in the right direction after commissioners gave him the power to fire staff without commission approval. Property Appraiser Mike Wells recently compared Pasco in Gallagher’s initial years to “medieval times.” The county lacked several key pieces of infrastructure in the early ’80s: A water and sewer system. Parks. Libraries. A trash incinerator. A bigger jail. A road network to handle future growth. Gallagher oversaw the creation of all those things. In the past few years, Pasco has landed planned expansions of T. Rowe Price and Raymond James Financial. New growth policies encourage dense development along the county’s southern edge and could attract more high-paying jobs. Gallagher lives in New Port Richey with his wife, Judy, an assistant principal at Gulf High School. Their children are grown. He isn’t sure what he’ll do after he retires. Perhaps some travelling. He won’t run for public office. He also ruled out endorsing a candidate to replace him. A top candidate will likely be Gallagher’s chief assistant for the last five years, Michele Baker.

Chesapeake, Virginia (population 222,209): The manager of York County, South Carolina will be Chesapeake’s new city manager, according to WKTR. James E. Baker will begin work in Chesapeake on January 14, 2013. Baker was the unanimous choice of the city council. Prior to moving to York County in 2007, Mr. Baker served for 16 years as director of administration and chief of staff to the county executive of St. Louis County, Missouri. St. Louis County surrounds the city of St. Louis and is considered the state’s economic engine. Before beginning his career in municipal management, Mr. Baker worked for the county’s criminal prosecutor for 11 years. In that role, Mr. Baker tried major felony cases including capital murder cases, investigated and tried most public corruption and white collar crime cases, and supervised ten members of the trial staff and eleven support staff. Mr. Baker graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri with an undergraduate degree in chemistry, and received his law degree in 1979 from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Though several details of his employment package remain to be sorted out, Mr. Baker has been offered and accepted a two-year contract with a salary of $205,000 a year. Baker is 58 years old and is married and the father of two sons.

Florence County, South Carolina (population 136,885): KG “Rusty” Smith said he started his new Florence County administrator’s job Monday morning, according to WPDE. He said there’s a lot of work to catch up on that was left behind by the former administrator, Thomas Robinson, who resigned earlier this month after 13 months on the job. Smith said his not sure of his exact salary, but that he’s making about $7,000 less than Robinson. Smith stated he’s so excited about job that he reported in to work Monday morning at 5:45 a.m. Florence County Council members voted last Thursday to offer the Florence County Council Chairman the position. He then resigned before accepting the administrator’s position. Smith was up for the job last year, but withdrew his name due to controversy about his position as chairman.

According to the Morning News, the county administrator’s position pays roughly $135,000 a year. Smith, a small business owner, has an undergraduate degree in business from the University of South Carolina. That met the minimum educational requirements of the job posted in 2011 by council. But it falls somewhat short of the typical large county administrator’s resume, which usually includes a master’s, and a degree in finance or the law, or both.

Sunrise, Florida (population 84,439): Commissioners agreed Wednesday to hire a well-respected outsider to lead City Hall, according to the Sun Sentinel. Alan Cohen, a former strong mayor in Ithaca, N.Y., wowed city leaders during a lengthy interview process less than two weeks ago. Commissioners agreed to meet in two weeks to discuss Cohen’s salary and contract. Cohen, who recently moved to Sunrise with his wife and newborn daughter, spent one year as the city manager in Sunny Isles Beach. He resigned from the $180,000-a-year job in June. He served as the strong mayor of Ithaca from 1996 to 2003. He has also run a management consulting company and a restaurant in Ithaca. Commissioners chose Cohen over Richard Salamon, who was appointed interim city manager in August after Bruce Moeller left to take a job in Pinellas County. City leaders agreed to eliminate the other finalists: Steve Fitzgibbons, a former city manager in Port Arthur, Texas; and Angel Jones, a former city manager in Gaithersburg, Md.

William A. Rawlings

Menifee, California (population 77,519): Menifee’s city manager, Bill Rawlings, stepped down from his position during a special City Council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 20, and will be replaced by Rob Johnson, a senior manager, according to The Press-Enterprise. The council called the meeting to conduct a closed session to evaluate the performance of Rawlings, who managed the city for less than two years. The decision for Rawlings to step down was mutual, the city attorney Joseph Fletcher said at the meeting. A press release states Rawlings will leave at the end of November, but Johnson said after the meeting he will begin his job as the interim city manager on Wednesday, Nov. 21. Though city officials declined to comment on what triggered the unexpected departure, the change will affect the city “in a positive manner,” Mayor Pro-Tem Tom Fuhrman said after the meeting.

Flower Mound, Texas (population 64,669): The Flower Mound Town Council voted unanimously to appoint Roanoke City Manager Jimmy Stathatos as the new Town Manager of Flower Mound at the November 19 regular meeting, according to Pegasus News. Stathatos has served as city manager in Roanoke since 1998 and has managed the organization through some of the most rapid and dynamic growth of any municipality in the state, while maintaining one of the lowest property tax rates in Texas. During his tenure, Roanoke’s tax base grew from $99 million to approximately $1.7 billion and sales tax revenue increased to more than $10 million a year. Mayor Tom Hayden and the town council were unified in conveying the qualities the new Flower Mound town manager must possess to Keller-based SGR Executive Search. These prioritized criteria included experience as a town manager or assistant town manager in a premier quality-of-life community in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, a track record of success in spurring high quality economic development, and a proven commitment in creating a successful organizational culture that is passionate about customer service. The qualified candidate must also be an authentic leader who has inspired and motivated employees while creating a positive and productive workplace with a history of results-oriented management excellence, and a serious commitment to be a good steward of taxpayer resources. During the search for the next town manager, SGR Executive Search discussed numerous prospective candidates with the council, resulting in a field of eight top applicants. After further discussion, the field was narrowed to three candidates, who were then invited to interview with the council. One of the factors that tipped the council toward Stathatos was his extensive hands-on experience and track record in economic development. As city manager, Stathatos directs and manages Roanoke’s economic development program, which has helped create more than 3,700 new jobs and approximately $1 billion in new development projects including General Motors, Citigroup, and many other Fortune 500 companies. The Texas Economic Development Department recognized Roanoke’s success with its Community Development Award, and the Dallas Business Journal recognized Roanoke twice for “Best Real Estate Deals.”

Burnsville, Minnesota (population 60,306): After ten years as the city of Burnsville’s top administrator, City Manager Craig Ebeling announced Tuesday his plans to retire on March 29, 2013, according to the Sun This Week. Ebeling was hired as Burnsville’s sixth city manager in 2003. He began his career with the city as assistant city engineer in 1987. He was promoted to city engineer in 1988 and was promoted to deputy city manager for parks, planning and public works in 1993. From 1995 to 2001, Ebeling took a job in the private sector as a regional office manager/client services manager for Howard R. Green Co. In 2001, he returned to Burnsville as the city’s director of development and redevelopment, a position he held for two years before becoming city manager. As city manager, Ebeling has championed a number of partnerships, with both  private entities and other public organizations, according to a city news release. During his tenure, he has regularly engaged Dakota County, other city managers, local school districts and local businesses in discussions about how to work together to provide high-quality services to the community at a lower cost. Under Ebeling’s leadership, Burnsville has been a leader in using technology to improve city services and has seen continued growth of its businesses community, the news release said. During his tenure the city also witnessed the construction of the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, the Heart of  the City downtown area and the Burnsville Surface Water Treatment Plant. Ebeling also had a hand in ensuring the long-term maintenance of the city’s infrastructure, having worked to create the city’s infrastructure trust fund plan in 1995. The long-range plan for Burnsville’s future infrastructure improvements has been used by the city ever since. Burnsville has also consistently maintained a Aaa bond rating under Ebeling’s watch. The City Council intends to hire an executive search firm to coordinate the search process for a new city manager and hopes to have a replacement hired by April 1, 2013.

Calaveras County, California (population 45,578): Jeanne Boyce, Calaveras County’s administrator, announced her retirement, according to the Calaveras Enterprise. Her last day will be Dec. 30, she said. Boyce, 57, the former director of the county’s Health Services Agency, became the county’s chief administrative officer in November 2009.

DeKalb County, Illinois (population 43,862): Gary Hanson was named the new DeKalb County administrator Wednesday by a unanimous vote from County Board members, ending a lengthy search process originally expected to end in August, according to the Daily Chronicle. Hanson will replace DeKalb County Administrator Ray Bockman, who has held the position for 28 years, starting in December. Hanson has served in DeKalb County government for 29 years. He will make a base annual salary of $155,000. After being named the new administrator, an emotional Hanson thanked the board members, his mentor Bockman, department heads and his family for their support and confidence. He said he has much to be thankful during this holiday season. A late change in the county’s search process opened the door for Hanson to become the next administrator. After leaving interviews with finalists unimpressed in July, board members decided to restart the process and use the opportunity to change requirements for the job. The board changed the county code to allow candidates with 10 years of local government management, nine of which must be at the administrative level, to apply for the position without a master’s degree. The previous code required a master’s degree in either business or public administration as well as years of experience, although not as many. Board members also hired search firm Voorhees Associates for $19,900 to handle the second round of the candidate search. Not everyone supported Hanson earlier in the process, but they voiced their support Wednesday when the final vote came. Executive committee members including Board Chairman Larry Anderson, R-Malta, Ken Andersen, R-Sycamore and John Gudmunson, R-Somonauk, had recommended finalist Sue McLaughlin to their committee a week earlier but changed their stance Wednesday. Andersen said he was primarily concerned with bringing “new blood” into the county at first, but after thinking about the decision more and speaking with people in the county, he is confident the right person was chosen for the job. Bockman was also honored at the meeting as he was told there would be a bench in his honor installed at one of the county’s forest preserves and his final day on the job – Nov. 30 – would be Ray Bockman Day in DeKalb County. After more than 350 County Board meetings, Bockman said he could not have asked for a better ending.

Texarkana, Texas (population 36,411): The new year will bring a new city manager to Texarkana, Texas, according to the Texarkana Gazette. John Whitson will start Jan. 2, with an annual salary of $146,500, according to an employment contract unanimously approved Monday night by the City Council. Whitson, 63, has been the town manager of Morrisville, North Carolina.

Burlingame, California (population 28,806): Burlingame’s new city manager, Lisa Goldman, is looking forward to becoming part of the community with which she will be working, according to the San Mateo Daily Journal. Burlingame City Manager Jim Nantell actually retired at the start of 2012 but stayed on through this year while the council searched for a replacement. Goldman, 44, currently serves as the assistant city manager of Alameda. She was unanimously selected by the City Council to replace Nantell on Oct. 30 in closed session. On Monday, the council will formally approve her contract. Under the proposed contract, Goldman will receive an annual salary of $214,000. Goldman was interested in Burlingame because of the city’s size and active engagement. She noted it’s a well-run city. Goldman knows she has big shoes to fill but is looking forward to working with Nantell for a couple of days in December before he officially retires. Once in office, Goldman’s first order of business will be to find a finance director — budget development will begin right away, she noted. Burlingame also has a number of long-term infrastructure projects that Goldman is excited to be a part of, such as the Broadway overpass. However, those projects are not fully funded — another big challenge for Goldman to take on. Goldman, who currently lives in Oakland, has more than 22 years of experience in local government and nonprofits. She spent her first seven years in Palo Alto then grew up in Southern California. After graduating from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in American history, Goldman wasn’t sure what to do. She called the local city manager, at her mother’s suggestion, in hopes of working on the new recycling projects. As an administrative intern, she was taken under the wing of the city manager who taught her about the various parts of the city. Thinking a career in government may be her path, Goldman moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for three years with U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman. In 1995, Goldman decided to go back to school. She earned her master’s degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley. She did work in tobacco control just after graduating but missed her government roots by 1999. With some networking, she landed a position with the city of Fremont in government relations. She also took on special projects through February 2007. In 2007, Goldman took a deputy city manager job with Alameda. During 2010, she was named acting city manager. Goldman was promoted to assistant city manager after that position ended. Goldman plans to move to Burlingame and really become part of the community she will be representing. In her free time, she’s a competitive swimmer and enjoys road cycling.

Clinton, Iowa (population 26,885): A week after being asked to submit his resignation, Clinton City Administrator Jeff Horne obliged, according to the Clinton Herald. Horne stepped down after Clinton City Council members requested his resignation during a special meeting. Horne’s employment is still pending a resolution from the Clinton City Council. Mayor Mark Vulich said the Nov. 27 Council meeting will include a discussion on the procedure for selecting a new city administrator. Horne’s contract stipulates he will receive six months aggregate salary and six months of family health insurance. The severance will not include any deferred compensation, retirement, car allowance, or IPERS payment. The Council requested Horne to resign after nearly a month of his absence from City Hall, which he previously attributed to resolving “personal issues.” According to a memo from Vulich, Council members have formed a special committee in the past during the selection process for hiring a new city administrator. More discussion during the Nov. 27 meeting will include how the city administrator duties will be handled during the search process, Vulich said.Horne was hired by the city in October 2009 with a salary of $95,000. Horne worked as the city administrator for Mitchellville before accepting the position in Clinton.

Claremore, Oklahoma (population 18,581): Claremore has hired a Rhode Island resident as its new city manager, spokeswoman Cassie Woods said Friday, according to the Tulsa World. Jim Thomas of West Warwick, R.I., will succeed Daryl Golbek, who announced in June that he was resigning from that position but would continue as the public works director. Thomas will assume his new post Nov. 26, Woods said. He has governmental administrative experience in six states, last serving as a town administrator in Kingston, Mass., a town of about 12,500 residents. He has held similar jobs in Rhode Island, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois and Utah. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and administration from Weber State University in Utah and a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University.

Winchester, Kentucky (population 18,368): After more than six years at the post, Ken Kerns will retire as Winchester city manager at the end of the year, according to The Winchester Sun. The commission thanked Kerns for his service. Commissioner Shannon Cox told Kerns he would be missed. Book said Kerns was the best city manager he’s worked with since joining the commission. After the measure passed unamiously, Burtner told Kerns the commission appreciated him very much. The board reluctantly approved a measure that accepts Kerns’ retirement effective Dec. 31.

Bellaire, Texas (population 16,855): Bellaire City Manager Bernie Satterwhite tonight announced that he plans to retire in 2014. Satterwhite made his announcement during his city manager’s report to city council. At the end of the council meeting, Councilmember Corbett Parked publically thanked Satterwhite for his service, which was followed by applause from council. Satterwhite was hired as Bellaire’s city manager in 2000. Prior to coming to work for the city, he spent two years as executive director of the United Way of Lauderdale County in Meridian, Miss and 25 years in the U.S. Navy as a pilot. He retired as Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss. in 1998. Satterwhite also had his 12th annual city manager evaluation tonight. The city council unanimously approved a salary of $151,925, or a three percent raise, for the city manager.

Abington, Massachusetts (population 15,985): John D’Agostino was hired as Abington’s Town Manager in 2010 but along the way he’s ruffled feathers, according to Selectmen who voted 3-2 to not renew another three contract with D’Agostino. The Town Manager’s annual salary has been about $120,000. Selectmen Chair Andrew Burbine was the only board member who spoke in favor of keeping D’Agostino because he believes D’Agostino showed leadership when Abington’s budget was cut by $1 million last year. However the other four Abington Selectmen say that D’Agostino has a problem with maintaining positive relationships, explaining that he doesn’t have the composure or attitude to be a Town Manager. It was Selectmen Kevin Donovan who made the motion to not reappoint D’Agostino once his contract expires in April. D’Agostino will not be paid severance because Abington Selectmen believe he breached his contract by failing to work in harmony and respect with other town boards and committees. His last day is April 26th, 2013.

Dallas, Oregon (population 14,583): The city of Dallas announced Tuesday that it has appointed Ronald Foggin as its new city manager, according to the Statesman Journal. Foggin will begin serving on Jan. 2. He replaces Jerry Wyatt who resigned July 2 amid city financial irregularities. Wyatt formally was charged with 17 counts, including felony counts of aggravated theft and computer crimes. He has pleaded not guilty. Foggin most recently served as the assistant city administrator in Lehi, Utah, population 47,000, where he worked 15 years, including five in his current position and five as the city’s finance director. He holds a degree in political science from Brigham Young University and a Masters of Public Administration from BYU’s Marriott School of Management.

Yankton, South Dakota (population 14,454): The City of Yankton announced Nov. 1 that the current city manager of Canton will take that position here beginning Jan. 2, according to the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan. Amy Nelson, 35, has been the city manager of the southeast South Dakota community of approximately 3,000 residents for the past four years. The announcement of Yankton’s first female city manager came during a media conference at City Hall Thursday with many city department heads in attendance. Nelson is a native of Ortonville, Minn., has a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead and a master’s degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato. She has worked in a couple states in positions that include downtown development director and a senior community planner prior to becoming the city manager of Canton. Mayor Nancy Wenande cited Nelson’s background in both the private and public sectors as reasons for her selection.

Hendersonville, North Carolina (population 13,137): Bo Ferguson is resigning as Hendersonville’s city manager at the end of the year to take a position as deputy city manager over operations in Durham, according to the Times-News. Ferguson will join City Manager Tom Bonfield at the helm in Durham on Jan. 7. Ferguson is set to lead the city’s Operations Team, a group of departments tasked with delivering traditional governmental services that most directly impact residents on a day-to-day basis. Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Collis, who was on the council that interviewed and hired Ferguson, said the city will definitely miss him. Steve Caraker was a newly elected member of the council when he sat in on the final rounds of interviews to find a city manager five years ago. He said that Ferguson impressed him from the beginning. He remembered Ferguson even apologizing during the interview because he was taking notes to prepare for future questions. Ferguson commended City Council for its work. He added that he has also enjoyed working with city staff. Ferguson said he’s confident the council will find a city manager who represents those values and that Mayor Barbara Volk is currently exploring options for transitioning to Hendersonville’s next city manager. In Durham, Ferguson will oversee about two-thirds of the city’s workforce — 2,200 staff members. Ferguson has 16 years of experience in local government management. Prior to working for Hendersonville, he served as assistant town manager and finance officer for the town of Black Mountain; assistant to the city manager in the city of Rockville, Md.; and senior management analyst with the city of Greenbelt, Md. Ferguson will fill the deputy city manager chair left vacant by Theodore Vorhees, who left Durham to serve as city manager of Fayetteville in August.

Glades County, Florida (population 12,884): Commissioners in attendance at Monday’s Glades County Commission meeting included Dennis Griffin, Donna Storter, Paul Beck, Russell Echols and Tim Stanley, according to Southwest Florida Online. Commissioner Storter moved to terminate the employment of county manager Wendell Taylor without cause effective immediately. Motion carried 3-2 with Echols and Griffin dissenting. Complaints had been filed against Taylor, a retired USAF Colonel, by two Glades County employees accusing the county manager of bullying and threatening employees and of using profane language in front of them. Earl Cline, a maintenance tech filed a grievance in April 2012 saying “G.D. is used almost daily, taking the name of God in vain” and was “obscenely screaming ‘F–k Donna'” referring to Commissioner Storter. 911 Coordinator Terri Anascavage complained that Taylor came to her office three times saying “spies were watching”” her. She went to Commissioner Jones, and claimed Taylor then started retaliation and harassment against her. Commissioner Stanley led discussion at the commission meeting about temporary positioning other employees to cover the vacant county manager position. Stanley felt county employees should receive official written notice of the vacancy with direction for “chain of command”. County Attorney Pringle suggested until the Board can move via advertised agenda in public meeting to proceed to fill the county manager position, that county business can be handled as it has been in the past during county manager’s absence when on leave by Deputy County Manager Larry Hilton.

Shiloh, Illinois (population 12,651): The Village Board has hired a Michigan man with more than 30 years of municipal experience as its first village administrator, according to the Belleville News Democrat. John Marquart of Iron Mountain, Mich., will start work in Shiloh on Dec. 10 and will oversee the day-to-day operations of the village. According to the employment agreement, Marquart’s initial term will be five months ending May 6, 2013. Thereafter, the term of village administrator will be four years to run concurrent with the term of the mayor. Marquart will earn a salary of 78,000 annually plus benefits with increases in compensation considered on an annual basis, and the village will cover Marquart’s moving expenses at a cost of 3,200. Marquart previously served as city administrator in Oak Forest, Ill., and as city manager in Iron Mountain, Mich. He has also held similar positions in several other cities in Illinois and Pennsylvania. In addition, he has experience in economic development after several years as the executive director of the Marinette County Association for Business and Industry in Wisconsin. Marquart holds a master’s degree in political science/public administration from Western Illinois University and has been an International City/County Management Association credentialed manager.

South Miami, Florida (population 11,657): South Miami commissioners fired their fourth city manager since 2009 during a contentious meeting Nov. 9, according to The Miami Herald. Outgoing City Manager Hector Mirabile said Friday that his last year working for South Miami was far worse than being under daily attack as a lieutenant colonel in Ramadi, Iraq, where he was stationed in 2009. With tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat, Mirabile told the crowd at the commission meeting that he was proud of his team and all that they had accomplished during the two years in the city. Some city employees, including South Miami’s director of human resources LaTasha M. Nickle, walked out of the meeting crying. Others filed up into his office to hug him. Commissioners voted 3-2 to fire Mirabile without cause. South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, a biology professor turned politician, led the effort after accusing Mirabile and “his friend,” South Miami Police Chief Orlando Martinez de Castro, of turning the city into a “hostile” place. Commissioners Bob Welsh and Walter Harris supported Stoddard’s effort. Vice Mayor Josh Liebman and Commissioner Valerie Newman dissented. The city charter entitles a manager fired without cause to a month’s salary and benefits as severance, but Mirabile’s contract stipulates that a firing without cause before Sept. 20, 2015, required the city to pay his full salary as a “consultant” with benefits for six months. Under the contract’s terms, Mirabile received $140,000 in salary, and benefits included a $150 cellphone and $650 car allowance each month, plus a monthly $680 for health insurance coverage. Mirabile also receives benefits from the city of Miami. Mirabile came to the city loaded with experience as a former Miami police major, Army National Guard veteran, and Miami’s interim director of community development and director of employee relations. He is also board chairman for the United Police Federal Credit Union, which represents police departments, including Miami, West Miami and the Miami-Dade County school district police. In 2010, Mirabile replaced former acting city manager Buford “Randy” Witt, a retired Air Force general and former Miami-Dade chief information officer. Witt had replaced interim city manager Roger M. Carlton, who took Ajibola Balogun’s place after he was fired in 2009. A year ago, commissioners extended Mirabile’s three-year contract to two more years. Before being fired, Witt chose Martinez de Castro as one of three finalists. Martinez de Castro, who worked in the Miami Police Department in the early 1980s with Mirabile, held several posts in South Miami, including public works director and assistant city manager before then-City Manager Maria Davis appointed him as police chief in October 2003. Martinez de Castro resigned in March 2006 and returned in 2010. One of Mirabile’s biggest accomplishments: He restructured the police pension plan and moved toward a defined-contribution plan. Commissioners named Kelly Barket as the acting city manager, while they look for an interim manager.

Sonoma, California (population 10,648): City Manager Linda Kelly is leaving Sonoma to accept the position of town manager of Windsor, effective Dec. 13, according to the Sonoma News. Kelly has served as the city manager of Sonoma since January 2008, and has worked with the City Council and staff in managing through the recession, the dissolution of the city’s redevelopment agency and the budget challenges that have impacted the Sonoma economy. Kelly, reached by phone Wednesday night, said her decision had nothing to do with job satisfaction in Sonoma. Kelly explained that the opportunity to apply for the Windsor job came up when longtime Town Manager Matt Mullan announced his retirement. Like Sonoma, Windsor has a five-person City Council, with a rotating mayor and a fulltime town manager. Kelly said she will assume her new job in mid-December in order to have some overlap with Mullan, who leaves at the end of the year.

Sonoma City Council announced Monday night that current Assistant City Manager Carol Giovanatto will be the next city manager, effective Dec. 13, according to the SonomaPatch. The appointment is subject to formal adoption of an employment agreement at the council’s next regular meeting Dec. 3. Giovanatto has been with the City for 11 years. She also currently serves as Administrative Services Director, City Treasurer and head of the Finance Department. She will replace current City Manager Linda Kelly who was recently appointed as the Town Manager of Windsor. The council announced its appointment after a closed session at its Monday meeting, according to a news release.

Molalla, Oregon (population 8,108): Ellen Barnes will leave after a year as Molalla city manager under a “mutual agreement” approved at a special session of the Molalla City Council, according to The Oregonian. Barnes will remain in City Hall for 30 days or until the city chooses an interim city manager, for which they will begin searching immediately. She will receive severance pay totaling $21,000 over the next three months, unless she accepts a job within that time period. The decision came after a 75-minute executive session, in which the council, city attorney and Barnes discussed private details of the agreement. About ten residents attended the public meeting afterward, which began 45 minutes late and lasted a few minutes. Councilor Jim Needham, a candidate for mayor, dissented in the 5-1 council vote. Mayor Mike Clarke declined to elaborate on what led to the split. Barnes started as city manager last October. She moved to Molalla with her husband and two daughters from Gold Beach, where she served as city administrator. Shortly after she arrived, she uncovered a financial mess that was years in the making, brought in a forensic auditor to help sort through the books, and began making cuts to keep Molalla from ending the year $400,000 in the red. Those cuts included four layoffs, which she said added stress among the remaining city staff. In a statement released Tuesday night, the city thanked Barnes for her leadership and for “professionally and ably” assisting the city through its financial issues. Barnes said the year has been a challenging one. She said “philosophical disagreements” contributed to her departure. She said the changes she initiated in City Hall to balance the budget created a “culture shock” for council and staff. Needham, the only council member to oppose tonight’s decision, called the meeting “deplorable.” After the brief public meeting, Molalla residents lingered with unanswered questions about Barnes’ departure.

Globe, Arizona (population 7,532): Brent Billingsley of Maricopa was chosen as City Manager by a confident Globe City Council on Nov. 8, according to the Copper Country News. The move will be formally adopted at the regular meeting on Nov. 19, and Billingsley will begin work on Jan. 2, 2013. The League of Arizona Cities and Governments had supplied 60 impressive candidates, and the Council interviewed the top 10, a lengthy process. Billingsley, 37, showed both experience and youthful energy, and Acting Manager Cynthia Seelhammer had declared him a hard worker. Billingsley has directed the Development Service and the Transportation Office for the City of Maricopa. He was a project manager for an engineering firm and Transportation Planner for Pinal County. He held two leadership offices in CAAG. A graduate of NAU, he majored in Public Planning/Civil Engineering.

Columbiana, Ohio (population 6,384): Not only is the city losing its manager, but his backup is also retiring after 18 years, according to the Morning Journal News. Service Director Jay Groner, who was appointed to the position by City Manager Keith Chamberlin in 1994, has announced he is retiring after more than 40 years of working in Columbiana. Groner told city officials of his intention to retire after Chamberlin announced he was leaving the position he has held the last 20 years. Both said their decisions were based solely on changes to the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). The changes were signed into law by Gov. John Kasich and take effect Jan. 7, 2013. They increase employee contributions, compute new final average salaries, require longer service and reduce cost-of-living adjustments. A September article in the Columbus Dispatch said the changes are to ensure that the pension systems can meet the state requirement that their unfunded liabilities be paid off within 30 years. Groner and Chamberlin both said it makes no financial sense for them to remain in the positions after the changes take effect. Groner’ first job was with the park, and over the years he has worked in other departments, including serving as cemetery superintendent 15 years. He doesn’t intend to be rehired by the city after his retirement although he does intend to continue working in some capacity. He and Chamberlin will both be leaving on Dec. 31, and Chamberlin said he will not appoint the new service director. That will be a task for the new city manager. Mayor David Spatholt said he, Councilman Bob Bieshelt and council clerk Deann Davis are getting together to come up with minimum requirements for the city manager position. The job has not formally been posted as open but it will be advertised soon, he added. Councilman Bryan Blakeman said 12 people submitted input through the city’s website, its Facebook page and his own personal website regarding the attributes the next manager should possess. He also said that during the closed door meetings council has held to discuss the position they are all “on the same page” regarding the type of person who should be hired. Chamberlin and Groner are making $86,000 and $65,000 a year, respectively.

Marion, Virginia (population 5,968): After more than 12 years of serving Marion as its manager, John Clark is planning to retire in early 2013, according to SWVA Today. The town has begun the process of advertising with the Virginia Municipal League in its electronic newsletter and on its website for applications. The job description and an application are also available on the town’s website, http://www.marionva.org. Applications are due by 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6. The ad strives to describe the tasks before potential candidates. Candidates are asked to possess a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of three years experience. A master’s degree in public administration, business administration, law, engineering or related fields is preferred. Salary is dependent upon qualifications. Clark, a native of the Broadford community, graduated from Rich Valley High School and holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech. He joined Marion’s staff in November 2000 after serving four years as the town manager of Saltville. He had previously served nine years as the town manager of Chilhowie and held the same post for the towns of Tazewell and Independence. He had also worked in public administration with the Mt. Rogers Planning District Commission. When he was offered the Marion position, Clark said it had been a long-term personal goal to return as the town manager after his first job, which was a temporary position with the town of Marion.

Stone Mountain, Georgia (population 5,802): The Stone Mountain City Council finalized the firing of City Manager Barry Amos in a resolution at a special called meeting Monday night, according to the StoneMountain-LithoniaPatch. Amos was suspended from office in a preliminary resolution by the council two weeks ago for “failure to communicate in a reliable and consistent manner,” as Mayor Pat Wheeler said at both meetings. Amos had five days to file a petition for a hearing after the first resolution, but he did not do so, Wheeler said.  Council members declined to discuss in detail the reason for Amos’ firing, but member Steve Higgins said the council had about eight or 10 examples, some having to do with communication with city staff, including the police department. Amos’ removal was effective immediately with the vote. Former Mayor Gary Peet is serving as interim city manager for six months. Amos was not present at the meeting and couldn’t be reached for comment.

Cherryville, North Carolina (population 5,760): Lowell City Manager Ben Blackburn will become the new manager in Cherryville, where he grew up, according to WCNC. Cherryville Mayor Bob Austell said on Wednesday local leaders were delighted that Blackburn, who was Cherryville’s city manager in 2000-02, had accepted the job offer in a place recently shaken by scandals. Suspicion of credit-card misuse led to the resignation or retirement of two long-time Cherryville employees; a former city manager was fired; the FBI filed criminal charges against three police officers; and the police chief and a captain were suspended. Investigations of the City Hall and police department are ongoing. Meanwhile, Cherryville Fire Chief Jeff Cash has been serving as acting city manager. Austell thinks Blackburn will help the city regain public trust. Blackburn begins his new job on Dec. 1 at a salary of $72,000, Austell said. Blackburn, 52, is a 1985 graduate of Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and town and county management. He’s also taken post-graduate public administration courses at Appalachian. He worked two years in the Watauga County tax collector’s office and eight years in the district attorney’s office in Boone as a victim/witness coordinator. From 1994 until 2000, Blackburn was Cherryville’s planning director. As Lowell city manager, he’s proud of the progress made in downtown revitalization, the creation of a merchants association and farmers market. He also notes sidewalk improvements as a major accomplishment. Leaving Lowell, population 3,600 and just across Gaston County from Cherryville, was a tough decision because “it’s a wonderful town,” Blackburn said. While he knows Cherryville is facing some problems, Blackburn hopes “I can be able to assist them and make it a better town.” Lowell Mayor Judy Horne said Blackburn has done “an excellent” job during his 10 ½ years there.

Jaffrey, New Hampshire (population 5,457): Town officials have started a search to find a new town manager, according to the Sentinel Source. Michael J. Hartman, town manager for the past five years, has accepted a similar position in Stoughton, Mass. Hartman was offered the Massachusetts job in September, and previously said he was considering taking it because it’s closer to his residence in Canton, Mass., a town with a population of nearly 30,000. While Hartman has an apartment in Jaffrey during the week, he commutes back to Massachusetts on the weekends. Hartman was on vacation Wednesday and could not be reached for comment. His last day is Dec. 14, Selectmen Chairwoman Jeanne LaBrie said. A search committee for his replacement will consist of five people, including town employees and Jaffrey residents, LaBrie said. Town officials will also be hiring a consulting firm to help them post the job ad and sift through candidates’ resumes. LaBrie did not know how much officials will spend to hire the firm. Ideally, Jaffrey, a town with a population of a bit more than 5,000, will have a new manager within three months, LaBrie said. Until then, Department of Public Works Director Randy Heglin will act as interim town manager. Heglin performed that role in 2006 when then-town manager Jonathan Sistare was called for military service. The town hired Hartman in 2007. LaBrie did not know how much Hartman will be making at his new job, but said it’s considerably more than Jaffrey can give him. Before coming to Jaffrey, Hartman was a town administrator in both Wareham and Medway, Mass. LaBrie said she understands why Hartman has accepted the new Massachusetts position, but the town will miss him.

High Springs, Florida (population 5,350): The High Springs City Commission ranked Edwin Booth as their top city manager candidate and agreed to offer him the position, contingent on an acceptable background check, during the regular commission meeting held on Thursday, Oct. 25, according to Alachua County Today. While Scott Lippman was chosen by all five commissioners, Booth was the only one to be ranked number one by the majority of the commission. All five candidates interviewed during the Monday, Oct. 22 meeting scored well. But Lippman’s inability to relocate to High Springs was concerning to Mayor Dean Davis and Commissioner Sue Weller, who said they ranked him lower for that reason.  Booth, who presently lives in South Carolina, indicated his willingness to relocate to the area if he selected by the commission. Following the ranking, Commissioner Weller moved and Vice-Mayor Bob Barnas seconded a motion to offer Booth the position as part of the next step in the hiring process; once again stressing the offer would be contingent on an acceptable background check. Following discussion about the method and cost of conducting the background check, the commission directed City Attorney Scott Walker to have his firm vet the candidate. Negotiating a salary agreement was discussed, but was not assigned. Contingent upon successful negotiations, it is anticipated that Walker will draw up a detailed agreement stipulating the terms and length of the contract for both parties to approve. As reported in the Oct. 25 edition of Alachua County Today, Booth holds a BS in Management from Columbia College, a MA in Public Administration from Webster University, a MS in Military Science from Command & General Staff College.  He is a retired U.S. Army Colonel with more than 20 years experience in all phases of utility management, police, fire and rescue experience, budget planning and preparation, master planning, economic development and staff management.  He also has had extensive experience in zoning and planning issues and served on the Board of the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council for three years. More recently, Booth has been the Town Administrator for Surfside Beach, SC.  Previously he served as the Town Administrator for Malabar, Fla., the City Manager in Ayden, NC, Commander, Dugway Proving Ground, UT, with 1,200 housing units under military control, City Manager, West Point, NE and Community Manager Fulda Military Community, with 1,800 housing units under military control.

Perry, Oklahoma (population 5,126): Mary Rupp worked for the city of Stillwater for 35 years. She started Nov. 1 as the city manager of Perry, according to the Stillwater NewsPress. She was first a secretary for the city manager and then an assistant city manager in Stillwater. When she left the city in February 2011, her title was deputy city manager. Rupp said the position was similiar to being an assistant, but with more direct supervision. Rupp said the city reorganized and eliminated her position. She said in recognition of her service with the city, she was given a separation agreement where she is paid through Dec. 31. She also will remain on Stillwater’s health insurance plan until Jan. 1, 2014. Part of her employment agreement with the city of Perry is that the money the city would be paying for her health insurance will be added to her base pay. She said her base pay is $80,000 a year and the value Perry officials put on paying her insurance is $10,000 a year. After Jan 1, 2014, Rupp will enroll in the city of Perry’s health insurance plan and not receive the extra stipend. Sherry Fletcher, director of marketing and public relations for the city of  Stillwater, said representatives of Stillwater could not comment on a former employee’s health insurance plan. Stillwater City Clerk Cindy Pollard said Rupp’s employment was from July 6, 1976 to December 31, 2011. Rupp said she lived all her adult life in Perry after moving from northeast Kansas. She graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in education with a business speciality. Her first job was teaching in Kansas schools. She moved to Perry with her husband who is from Perry. She has two adult sons and five grandchildren. She worked at Oklahoma State University for a year before starting with the city of Stillwater. She became assistant city manager in 1987 and was made deputy city manager shortly after Dan Galloway was hired as Stillwater’s city manager in 2005. Rupp said when she left the City of Stillwater she was not ready to retire. Stillwater gave her the opportunity to learn and grow, she said. Rupp, 60, said standard retirement age of 66 is getting closer. Rupp said Perry city manager was a natural fit for her. She said Perry changed to a council/manager form of government about seven years ago.

Milton, New Hampshire (population  4,598): Town Administrator Tony Mincu resigned Friday, effective immediately, and selectmen will soon begin the search to replace him, according to Foster’s Daily Democrat. Mincu has served the town as a town administrator since 2010. In his letter of resignation, submitted Friday, he stated he wanted to further his career, said Selectman Bob Bridges. He said that for the past two weeks or so, Mincu has been talking about getting back into the legal field. Mincu previously has worked as an attorney, said Bridges. While working with the town Mincu had been receiving a salary of $1,320 per week. Initially, he had a one-year employment contract with the town, but in 2011 selectmen extended his contract for three years, to expire in 2014. While there was a financial package given him upon his resignation, Bridges said he would not give details on what that package included. After being hired by the town in 2010, Mincu told Foster’s that he was excited about the job in Milton and he looked forward to the challenge of straightening out the town’s financial situation. Previously, he worked as a town administrator for Farmington, but his position there ended in June 2010 for unknown reasons. Milton selectmen will soon be meeting with representatives from the town’s insurance company, which will provide resources to help search for a new town administrator. The scope of the search has not yet been determined, said Bridges. Until a new town administrator is found, Bridges will be overseeing the day-to-day operations at the Town Hall. The other two Selectmen, Tom Gray and Bob Srnec, will take on some administrative duties if needed, said Bridges. Selectmen officially accepted Mincu’s resignation during a special meeting.

Sykesville, Maryland (population 4,436): Sykesville’s new town manager began Nov. 13, the day of the town’s first November meeting, according to the Carroll County Times. Dawn Ashbacher was one of three candidates selected to interview with the town council in a September visit to Sykesville. Ashbacher’s previous experience is primarily in Virginia, with more than seven years of government experience, according to a release from the town of Sykesville. Ashbacher previously worked as Assistant to the City Manager in Winchester, Va., and Assistant Director of the Planning Commission and a budget analyst for Fairfax County. Sykesville hired an outside firm in order to find candidates from across the nation. In a previous interview, Ashbacher said she visited the town before applying, and was impressed with the town. Former Sykesville town manager Matt Candland left after more than 17 years with the town in July. Police chief John Williams has been acting as interim town manager and police chief since July.

North Wilkesboro, North Carolina (population 4,245): Larry South, an Ashe County native and town manager of Hillsville, Va., for almost 19 years, was unanimously chosen Nov. 8 by the North Wilkesboro town board as the new manager, according to the Wilkes Journal-Patriot. South has accepted the position and will begin here Monday, Dec. 3, after finding a residence in the town. His wife and children plan to remain in Hillsville for the remainder of the school year. North Wilkesboro Mayor Robert Johnson said South has agreed to a starting salary of $83,116, which is higher than the advertised starting salary of $75,000 for the position but lower than the $87,000 that the town was paying former Town Manager Hank Perkins when he announced his resignation in June. Perkins resigned to accept the position as town manager in Lewisville. Former Wilkes County Manager Cecil Wood has served as the town’s interim manager since July 6. South, who had served for 18 years, 10 months as Hillsville town manager without a contract, resigned along with Police Chief Steve Williams following a closed session at the conclusion of a Hillsville town council meeting this past summer. His last day was June 29. South said he grew up in Glendale Springs, and his parents, Glen and Vilena South, live on the New River in Ashe. South graduated from Appalachian State with a bachelor’s of science degree with a major in business administration and a minor in political science. He served as Ashe County manager for four years and later worked in Raleigh for the Division of Environment, Health and Natural Resources for 18 months before succeeding former Wilkes County Manager John Barber as the Davie County manager for 3½ years. From Davie, he moved to Hillsville. South has two daughters from a previous marriage who still live in Ashe. He and his wife, Shelia, have two daughters, Savannah 15, and Mallory, 10. Bert Hall made the motion to hire South. South is 56. Commissioner Bart Hayes thanked Wood for serving as interim manager.

Basalt, Colorado (population 3,857): The new town manager of Basalt said Tuesday that he accepted the position because of the vast potential of the town and the people he met during a four-day visit in September, according to The Aspen Times. Mike Scanlon is currently the city administrator of Mission, Kan., a town of 9,300 people near Kansas City. He was offered a contract for the Basalt post in late October by the Town Council and accepted. He will start in early December. Scanlon, 51, and his wife, Kelly, have two grown daughters, Katie, 26, and Megan, 21. He is an avid cyclist. Scanlon joked that Basalt and its wonderful Rocky Mountain environment hold a lot of appeal for a guy from eastern Kansas. Many of the other applicants for the manager’s post came from Colorado and surrounding states, so they already had a leg up on him when it came to the outdoor lifestyle. In addition to the alluring outdoor lifestyle, Scanlon said he was impressed with the people he met inside and outside government in Basalt. He was treated well at Café Bernard, the parish at St. Vincent Catholic Church welcomed him, he was impressed with the way residents came together to improve the deck of the 7-Eleven pedestrian bridge, the Basalt Regional Library staff was professional and polite, and the town staff and Town Council members put him at ease. The council members might not always agree, he said, but they all work toward the best interests of Basalt. Scanlon has served in government for nearly 30 years. He was appointed to his current position in Mission in August 2003. He manages the city’s day-to-day operations and implements the policies set by the council. He oversees 70 city staff employees, though the city’s operation of a recreation center and department boosts the worker count to 125 to 130 full-time equivalents. He said he is proud of what his team has accomplished in Mission. It probably has more of a “Colorado feel” than some towns in Colorado, he said. While working with younger folks entering government service, Scanlon said he stresses to them that pay isn’t the most important factor for a good job and that location isn’t necessarily critical. The most important quality is finding people passionate about their place. Scanlon said he has a passion for getting done what the community wants done. That’s accomplished by getting community members involved in “visioning” and then working with the elected officials to set a course and execute that vision. He said he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty by participating in the work of a town government. But he also feels he has a knack for the big picture — imagining a place three or four generations down the road. He won’t have a lack of projects to work on when he arrives in Basalt. The Town Council and Planning Commission have started review of the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park redevelopment. The proposal includes mixed uses of commercial and residential space and a Hyatt Place Hotel. A nonprofit campus is also in the mix. One of the biggest challenges will be finding replacement housing for the 38 individuals and families living at the mobile-home park. The town is also in the beginning stages of reviewing a continuing-care community proposed by Aspen Valley Medical Foundation in the South Side neighborhood. Scanlon said his excitement over Basalt’s future played a role in his decision to accept the job. He said former Basalt Town Manager Bill Kane expressed that rosy outlook better than he could. While meeting with the six candidates vying to be his successor, Kane said if Basalt was selling stock, he’d recommend buying. Scanlon is buying. He and the council negotiated a contract that will pay him $125,000 plus provide a housing allowance for one year.

Quartzite, Arizona (population 3,677): The Quartzsite Town Council has voted to dismiss Town Manager Alexandra Taft, according to the Parker Pioneer. The 6 to 1 vote came following an executive session at the council’s Nov. 13 meeting. Taft had been on administrative leave since Aug. 28. No explanation was given for the leave or the dismissal. The only “no” vote came from Councilwoman Patricia Workman. Taft is one of three top officials in the town who have been dismissed in the last month. Assistant Town Manager Al Johnson and Town Attorney Martin Brannan were both dismissed in late October. The action item to dismiss Taft was placed on the agenda by Interim Town Manager Laura Bruno. Prior to the vote, Councilman Mark Orgeron motioned to have several items placed by Workman and Mayor Ed Foster removed from the agenda. These included an item from Workman seeking to dismiss Bruno and reinstating Taft. As part of the discussion of Orgeron’s motion, Workman said she believed having Bruno placing the agenda item to have Taft dismissed constituted a conflict of interest under Arizona Revised Statutes 39-501 and 511. The other items Orgeron motioned to have removed from the agenda included a resolution from Workman to have the council nominate and approve two members to serve as contact persons with the Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool on the town’s insurance. The resolution states these members would also serve as contacts with the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, and that the town manager would provide these members with all necessary resources, information and quotes regarding insurance. The items Foster placed included action items regarding the times for regular council meetings, modifications to the town code regarding the bidding process, restoring “Call to the Public” to the council meetings, changing the duties of the town attorney, and discussion and possible action on the town manager’s position. Orgeron told the council he wanted these items removed because he had been in contact with the municipal risk pool, and they had told him the town’s continued factional fighting was not helping things in terms of having the town’s insurance restored. The council approved Orgeron’s motion to have these items removed. In another matter, Bruno reported the town had been in contact with an insurance broker who specialized in hard-to-place municipalities. She said they would be receiving quotes from 15 insurance companies. Bruno gave a brief history of what led up to the risk retention pool deciding to discontinue the town’s coverage. The pool informed the Town of their consideration of canceling the town’s insurance in September unless certain conditions were met. In early October, the pool decided to cancel the insurance. Bruno said the primary reason for the cancellation was the level of litigation against the town, much of it due to the factional fighting. She said 25 lawsuits had been filed against the town in 2011 and 2012, and 21 of those were unsettled. Bruno said some currently vacant positions would not be filled due to an expected increase in the town’s insurance costs. These positions included Assistant Town Manager and Assistant Town Clerk.

Monticello, Georgia (population 2,657): Monticello City Council members welcomed Tim Sweezey, the new city manager, at their regular business meeting November 13, according to The Monticello News. This was Mr. Sweezey’s first official business meeting although he has been in Monticello for about three weeks, and hit the ground running. Council members had dinner with Mr. Sweezey upon his arrival. Mr. Sweezey said that when he took the job, he met with department heads both independently and collaboratively and there was an overwhelming majority that said there was a distinct lack of leadership. That being corrected is one direction that Mr. Sweezey is improving. Mr. Sweezey also told the council that he met with Robert Jordan, the city engineer. He said that they are working on the outlined projects, including the laptop issue in the police cars. Mr. Sweezey said that he and Chief Bobby Norris had to collaborate and be sure that the grant for these laptops was 100 percent refundable, but that was the goal. He then told the council that he has an open door policy and believes in the chain of command. In meetings he wants the employee and the supervisor.

New Durham, New Hampshire (population 2,638): After stepping down from her post as town administrator, Alison Webb has taken a position with the City of Dover and Durham resident Jeremy Bourgeois has stepped in to take her place at Town Hall, according to Foster’s Daily Democrat. Bourgeois, 25, told Foster’s he moved to Durham and subsequently had to step out of the running for the District 8 state representative race this year, after getting the job to serve as New Durham’s town administrator. He started on Oct. 2 and also holds a part-time position as a housing director for a University of New Hampshire (UNH) fraternity. Bourgeois said New Durham is a jumping-off point for his hopeful lifetime career in municipal work. A Rochester native, Bourgeois graduated from Spaulding High School in 2005 before pursuing an associate degree at UNH in community leadership. He received a political science bachelor’s degree in 2009 and then shortly after served in a fellowship with the Municipal Management Association of New Hampshire. The program is designed around the association’s partnership with UNH and the New Hampshire Local Government Center. Bourgeois graduated with a master’s degree in public administration in December 2011. In that time, he shadowed the Derry town administrator in the summer of 2011, as well, learning the ropes of an administrator’s post. For the future, he said he hopes to serve as a town or city manager and may even dabble in the political field. Bourgeois noted Webb was well respected by the community during her time in New Durham. She is now serving in the human resources department in the City of Dover. He added a major goal for the future of the town is the renovation of the Town Hall building, including repairs to the exterior and putting in new restrooms, as well as making the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Laurel Park, North Carolina (population 2,180): Laurel Park Town Manager Jim Ball has told the town council that he will be retiring from his position on Dec. 1, 2013, according to WHKP. Ball made the announcement to allow sufficient time for the town to find a new manager. Ball has served as town manager for more than 15 years.

Winnebago, Minnesota (population 1,437): A former Winnebago Council member will be stepping up as the new City Administrator, according to the Fairbault County Register. The city hired Chris Ziegler at a starting salary of $52,000. He will officially begin on Monday, Dec. 3. Ziegler had announced at the July 10 council meeting that he would not be seeking re-election to the council at the beginning of next year. However, when former Winnebago City Administrator Austin Bleess resigned from the position in October, Ziegler announced he was going to leave the council even sooner than anticipated. It was his desire to apply for the City Administrator position so he resigned as a council member in order for his application to be considered. The council selected Ziegler to be interviewed as one of the top six candidates out of 11 applicants. From there he was chosen as one of the three finalists and was interviewed on Nov. 1. He was offered the position after the second round of interviews were conducted at the special meeting. It was announced on that day they would extend the offer to Ziegler. He signed his contract for employment between himself and the city on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Wendell Sande, of South Central Service Cooperative and current interim administrator for the city of Winnebago, has been handling the duties in the office for the time being. Ziegler lives in Winnebago and is the director of business management for Human Services of Faribault and Martin counties. He has experience working in the city office and with much of the computer software the city of Winnebago uses for budgets and payroll. As stated in his interview, Ziegler is confident and ready to be working with the current city employees.

Lake Park, Iowa (popuation 1,105): City leaders in Lake Park will be conducting their second administrator search in less than a year, according to the Dickinson County News. City Administrator George McGuire is leaving the position effective Dec. 30. The city was accepting applications through Nov. 19 for the opening. McGuire said the decision didn’t come easily. McGuire put a number of projects into motion upon his arrival. He helped initiate and break ground on the new housing development on the southwest potion of town. Plans for a new apartment complex are planned this spring. McGuire also worked on a partnership with the school district to construct a concession stand in the parks. McGuire also said he has been working with the city to incorporate new ways to attract potential businesses to the area. Lake Park Mayor John Engel said he wasn’t surprised with McGuire’s decision. The city of Lake Park has put out a number of calls for applicants. They are looking for someone who has a vast knowledge of government operations, facilities and other policies and budgets necessary to the city. The candidate will be able to keep both the mayor and city council informed of anything concerning the city.

East Hampton Village, New York (population 1,083): Larry Cantwell, the East Hampton Village administrator, will retire in 2013, according to The East Hampton Star.  Mr. Cantwell served on the East Hampton Town Board for five and a half years, from 1977 to 1982, and made an unsuccessful bid for supervisor against the Republican incumbent, Mary Fallon, in 1981. He has since served on the town planning board and the East Hampton Housing Authority. But he first entered town politics in 1975, when at age 25 he was elected bay constable, becoming the town’s youngest elected official and “the first Democrat elected to that position in 42 years,” he said. His final year on the town board was a fractious one. Just after the 1981 election, he said, Republicans announced plans to abolish the Planning Department and hire a consultant instead. At the time, there was still a Democratic majority on the board, which opposed the move. In the end, the Planning Department was dissolved and a consultant was hired. Mr. Cantwell resigned as councilman the following year to become East Hampton Village’s clerk-treasurer. (After five years on the job, his duties were expanded and he became the village administrator.) Still, Mr. Cantwell remembers Town Hall then as a more civil place than it seems to be today. His position with the village is an appointed one, with a term that runs concurrent with that of the mayor, but in his 30 years on the job, the village has had only three mayors. Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. has worked with Mr. Cantwell throughout his 20-year tenure. When the village administrator told the board last week of his plans to retire in June or July of 2013, “you could hear a pin drop,” Mayor Rickenbach said at Friday’s village board meeting. Only one village board member, Elbert Edwards, has held his post longer than Mr. Cantwell. Barbara Borsack, the deputy mayor, said Mr. Cantwell’s departure would be “a sad day . . . I’m sorry to see it coming.” And Richard Lawler, a board member who serves as village police commissioner, praised Mr. Cantwell for his dedication and professionalism. Mr. Cantwell thanked the village board on Friday for “instilling me with the confidence it takes to do my job.” He also praised the village employees, “from the beach personnel to the firemen — they are the real heroes.” The village has started taking applications to replace Mr. Cantwell, who will, Ms. Borsack said, leave big shoes to fill. Résumés are to be sent to Village Hall, attention Larry Cantwell. He hopes that with a nine-month lead, he will be able to help make the transition to a new village administrator as smooth as possible. Zachary Cohen, who lost to Supervisor Bill Wilkinson by just 15 votes in 2011, has been presumed to be the Democrats’ choice for the top of the ticket in 2013. He had only good things to say about Mr. Cantwell. In recent local election years, many have suggested that East Hampton Town needs a professional town manager similar to a village administrator. Mr. Cantwell thinks there’s “merit” to this, especially because it would help provide continuity from supervisor to supervisor. Mr. Wilkinson, a Republican, has not indicated whether he plans to run again in 2013, but County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, a former supervisor who ran on the Republican ticket but has since become an Independence Party member, has said he wants to try again for his old job.

Transitions: Charlotte, NC; Savannah, GA; Goodyear, AZ and more

Curt Walton

Curt Walton

Charlotte, North Carolina (population 1,758,038): Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton is planning to retire at the end of the year, according to multiple city officials, according to WCNC. Walton, who was named manager in 2007 when Pam Syfert retired, led the city through the economic downturn mostly unscathed. He made a number of small cuts to balance the city’s budget, but the city was able to avoid large reductions that other cities nationwide had to face. Earlier this year, Walton unveiled an ambitious $926 million capital plan that would have invested in the city’s low-income neighborhoods. But the plan failed to get council support and hasn’t been enacted yet. The City Council is now trying again to pass a capital improvement program. Walton was picked by council members in 2007 over Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble and former Assistant City Manager Keith Parker, who now heads up the transit system in San Antonio.

Savannah, Georgia (population 186,236): The half dozen or so Savannah-Chatham police officers proved unnecessary Thursday, according to the Savannah Morning News. A subdued audience of about three dozen filled Savannah City Council chambers for a special meeting to determine the fate of City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney. Her official tenure ended with little of the turmoil associated with her 18 months of management and with none of the vocal protest that punctuated the last week after Mayor Edna Jackson had asked for her resignation. After a 90-minute executive session, Jackson resumed the public meeting by stating she had received Small-Toney’s written resignation about 8:30 that morning. Three times, Jackson invited anyone who wanted to speak to come to the microphone. Only one woman did, and her final question to council was one they had wrestled with, publicly and privately, for weeks: “Is there any way that this could have been avoided?” The time for that question had passed, though. In two quick votes, council members accepted the resignation and appointed Assistant City Manager Stephanie Cutter as acting city manager. The vote on resignation was 6-3, with staunch Small-Toney supporters John Hall, Estella Shabazz and Mary Osborne voting against. The vote for Cutter was unanimous. Under the charter, she can serve for three months before council needs to name a replacement or extend her service. Mayor Pro Tem Van Johnson and Alderman Tony Thomas echoed the assessment that council need not rush a search for a replacement. Jackson, initially one of Small-Toney’s strongest supporters, admitted it was a difficult time for all involved. She thanked Small-Toney for her five years of city service, and later said the decision was not meant to hurt her but needed to come because “this fit was not for her at this time.” Johnson regretted the outcome, but saw little other choice. Shabazz, Hall and Osborne had all acknowledged the mismanagement rippling through city departments, and Shabazz and Osborne had asked some of the more pointed questions during council reviews. What they could not support was removing Small-Toney without giving her more time to correct problems. The city manager was reprimanded Aug. 31 after revelations about her failure to adhere to travel policy and a Purchasing Department overrun with payment problems. Council asked for immediate improvement. They stipulated that within 90 days they would provide her a comprehensive evaluation of her performance. Other missteps, though, quickly followed, including a letter that threatened Cutter with termination if she could not address problems in the Purchasing Department. Current and former Purchasing employees say that though their department fell under Cutter’s supervision, Small-Toney had direct involvement and allowed Cutter no decision making. On Sept. 26, in a special work session, a majority of council supported the mayor’s request for the city manager’s resignation. Hall opposed it then as he did Thursday. Hall does not believe the divided vote will have a lingering effect for council, and by the end of the regular meeting a relaxed banter, missing for weeks, had returned. Thomas also believes the full council is ready to return to issues other than day-to-day management of the city. He and other council members had called for, and were assured by Incoming City Attorney Brooks Stillwell, that an audit of funds would occur and that such a step was a normal practice anytime a chief executive officer left an organization. The satisfaction in seeing Cutter named acting city manager was immediate. Council members, employees and residents credit her with being fair, honest and hard-working. Cutter, 55, has been a city employee for 23 years. She rose through the ranks, first as a budget analyst, later as director of the Sanitation Department and for the last two years serving as an assistant city manager. For the last year, she has overseen the bureaus of Management Services and Community and Economic Development. She’s a Savannah native, grew up in Liberty City and graduated from Windsor Forest High School and what was then Savannah State College. She does not want the city manager’s job on a permanent basis. Even in Sanitation, known as one of the more rough-and-tumble, demanding city departments, she earned widespread respect for balancing her expectation that the job get done well with her fairness toward employees. Lamonica Golden, an equipment operator in Sanitation, recalled an incident years ago when a distraught employee wasn’t sure how she could get her handicapped daughter to a special school and keep her work schedule. Cutter rearranged the woman’s schedule so she would be able to take her daughter to school. No one, Golden said, should mistake Cutter’s soft-spoken tone with an inability to lead. In her letter of resignation, Small-Toney stated the terms of her departure. She will receive six months’ pay and, as any employee would, credit for accrued vacation pay. She may be entitled to more pay than she realizes. In a letter dated March 2012, Jackson outlined Small-Toney’s compensation plan approved by the new council. It included a 2 percent salary increase retroactive to January. City staff, including the Clerk of Council and Human Resources, never got a copy of that letter, and Small-Toney’s pay throughout this year remained at $190,575. It should have been $194,386. At that rate, her six months’ pay would be $97,193. Bret Bell, the city’s spokesman, said no one could immediately explain why the raise hadn’t taken effect, but it would be researched. Small-Toney also notified the mayor she would schedule a time to return all city property she has and would vacate her office in five days.

Goodyear, Arizona (population 66,275): The Goodyear City Council on Monday unanimously appointed Brian Dalke the permanent city manager, according to the Arizona Republic. Dalke has filled the position on an interim basis since March after former City Manager John Fischbach abruptly resigned. Dalke will earn $178,760 per year, plus benefits, to run a city with 66,309 residents. His contract runs through Dec. 31, 2013, the maximum time allowable under the city charter. Dalke’s base salary appears to be in line with those of other area city managers. In Avondale, a city of 77,518, City Manager Charlie McClendon earns $183,882 annually. Buckeye Town Manager Stephen Cleveland’s annual salary is $140,200. Buckeye has 61,649 residents. In Glendale, a city of 230,482, interim City Manager Horatio Skeete makes $208,450 annually. Under Dalke’s contract: The city will make an annual contribution to Dalke’s retirement plan that is equal to 10 percent of his salary. Dalke will receive 80 hours of executive leave, 96 hours of sick time and 160 hours of vacation each year. He can accrue as much as 320 hours of vacation and is eligible to accrue an unlimited amount of sick leave. The city manager will get a $400 per month automobile allowance, in addition to the same disability, health and life insurance granted to other city management employees. City leaders say they have high expectations. The City Council wants Dalke to focus on economic development that will create jobs and attract businesses that support existing industries within the city. He is also tasked with completing a strategic plan for the city and conducting an employee compensation study. Since Fischbach’s departure, several new managers have been hired to lead city departments. The Community Development and Economic Development departments were merged into a single Development Services Department. The new department includes the Building Safety Division, which is currently under the Fire Department. The moves allowed the city to reduce the number of department directors from three to one. The changes will lower salary costs and help Goodyear gear up for the next wave of growth, Dalke said. Dalke will run a city where only 10 percent of the land is developed. Goodyear is in discussions to land a couple of new companies by the end of 2012, he said. He declined to name them, but Dalke said the city will cultivate businesses in industries compatible with the F-35 pilot-training mission announced for Luke Air Force Base. Dalke said that he will run a transparent and efficient city and that he is interested in saving residents’ tax dollars. For example, when the city reduced bulk trash pickup from twice a month to once a month, it saved $300,000, he said. He said will also concentrate on improving quality of life for residents. The City Council on Monday appointed 24 residents to serve on the Goodyear 2025 General Plan Committee. They will work for 18 months on a long-range plan that must be ratified by voters before July 1, 2015. Before he was appointed, Mayor Georgia Lord thanked Dalke. It’s challenging to be in an interim position under difficult circumstances, she said. Fischbach resigned March 19 after a closed-door session with council members. The two sides agreed to part ways after a three-month performance review. Council members were concerned that emerging issues were not being handled according to expectations.

Flower Mound, Texas (population 64,669): After weeks of speculation, the Flower Mound Town Council unanimously voted to fire Town Manager Harlan Jefferson on Monday in a special meeting, according to the Carrollton Leader. Jefferson, who has been the town manager since 2006, was placed on paid administrative leave Sept. 22 during a special meeting. His contract was set to expire in October 2015. Chuck Springer, the town’s chief financial officer and assistant town manager, will remain the interim town manager until a permanent one is found. Jefferson was not at Monday’s meeting. Jefferson will receive 22 months severance per the terms of his contract, though an exact figure was not disclosed. According to his contract, Jefferson made an annual salary of $187,995. The contract states that if Jefferson is involuntarily terminated, he would be entitled to a severance equal to the total base salary, as well as “all accrued leave and town benefits, including but not limited to health insurance, vacation leave, sick leave and exempt leave.” The money will come from the town’s general fund, which Mayor Tom Hayden said currently sits at $9.6 million. Hayden said that at Jefferson’s request, the town has agreed to a mutual confidentiality provision as part of the formal settlement. While Hayden would not elaborate Monday on reasons for the council’s action, he did address the situation at the Oct. 1 council meeting. Later that week and before Monday’s vote, Hayden discussed a new direction. At the Sept. 22 meeting, Jefferson’s attorney, Don Colleluori, said Jefferson understands that it is the council’s right to terminate his contract, but he said Jefferson had not been given the opportunity to address any concerns the council had of him. Since then, sources have refuted that claim, citing several instances when Jefferson was aware of concerns. Among those were discussions at the town council strategic planning session and a council work session following the election in which the council outlined goals and discussed a desire to change the town’s direction in certain areas, including the working relationship the town has with developers. Colleluori also acknowledged the developer surveys in which area developers gave low marks to the town’s processes. But Colleluori said those processes are set by the council and that the town manager only enforces those. Others, however, have said the town manager has the right to make exceptions to help in the development process and that Jefferson did not. When asked last week if he agrees with Colleluori’s sentiment, Hayden pointed to the Oct. 1 meeting when David Watson of Direct Development discussed the issues his firm has had with the town when working on Cross Timbers Village. The development, located near the intersection of FM 1171 and Bruton Orand Boulevard, will include Tom Thumb, as well as two other buildings. Per the development agreement, landscaping was required to be installed around the property’s perimeter before a certificate of occupancy would be approved. Watson said his firm requested that the landscaping around the two buildings be allowed to be installed after the construction of the buildings since it would have to be torn up anyway during construction. Watson said the town staff denied that request, causing a delay in the project and adding extra cost. Watson also said his firm had to pull 33 permits for this project, noting that a similar project in Wylie has only required one permit. Watson also said the town required signatures from the owners of all property the construction crew had been on to verify that they left the property in good condition. Watson said that was a last-minute surprise and another hassle. Hayden said there have been several other instances in Flower Mound recently similar to what Watson described. Hayden said the search for a permanent town manager will begin immediately.

Hanford, California (population 53,967): The council is expected to appoint a new city manager and discuss an employment contract, according to the Hanford Sentinel. At the previous meeting, City Attorney Bob Dowd named Coalinga City Manager Darrel Pyle as the top candidate for the job. Pyle is expected to begin in late November or early December. It’s not know how much Pyle will be paid. Former City Manager Hilary Straus was paid $160,000 per year.

Bryan County, Georgia (population 31,377): Only moments after the Bryan County Board of Commissioners accepted the resignation of current County Administrator Phillip Jones during their meeting at the Bryan County Administrative Complex Tuesday, they voted unanimously to name south Bryan resident Ray Pittman as his successor, according to the Savannah Morning News. Pittman and William (Jason) Tinsley, the current Assistant County Administrator/Finance Director for Habersham County, had been named as the two finalists for the job on Sept. 18. The original field of 25 candidates was screened and charted by Jones, who presented them to the commissioners as a list. According to Jones, he, County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed, and Commissioners Carter Infinger and Jimmy Henderson participated in either all or some of the interviews. Jones added that because it is often difficult to get all the commissioners together at one time, interviews for department head positions in the Bryan County government are commonly conducted by a committee which then makes its recommendations to the entire board. There is no requirement for the entire board to interview candidates he said. However, any commissioner who wishes to participate can. However, if they all do, or enough to make a quorum do, a meeting would have to be called. Pittman has worked for Thomas and Hutton Engineering in Savannah for 27 years as an engineer and is a principal in the organization. He has an extensive background in sewer and water design/construction and has lived in Bryan County since 1986. He also chaired the committee that developed the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the SPLOST and TSPLOST committees. Jones’ resignation becomes effective Dec. 31 of this year.

Garden City, Michigan (population 27,692): In a split decision, Garden City Council voted 4-3 last Monday evening to fire City Manager Darwin McClary, according to the Observer & Eccentric. Councilman Jim Kerwin made the motion, supported by Joanne Dodge. Councilmen David Fetter and Councilmen George Kordie also voted to terminate McClary. The vote was a mirror image of a vote in August to suspend the city manager. There wasn’t a collective reason for firing McClary although Fetter listed a number of his personal gripes that have accumulated through time. Fetter said that what the community sees McClary is just a sliver of himself. Fetter took issue with the first-time lighting assessment and that while the city administration said that the fee will not go up, the plans are now to increase it this year which he won’t support. Employees, who earlier negotiated raises, went to the city manager and on their own said that they would give up their raises but got a slow response. Fetter acknowledged that contract concessions were made. Fetter also complained that both he and Kordie asked if public informational meetings about the 3.5-mil police and fire millage, which passed in May, would be held prior to the election. Kordie said that when he did the math on evaluations, McClary was consistently below average. Kordie also said he couldn’t obtain information about grievances. He wanted to know when a grievance was about to go to arbitration because that costs the city money. He said that he also hasn’t been able to get satisfactory answers to citizen complaints. He added that if the council hadn’t pushed to only close city hall one day rather than two days a week the change would not have happened. Councilwomen Patricia Squires and Jaylee Lynch responded that they hadn’t heard some of the prior concerns before. The council is responsible for establishing policy and procedures and for passing budgets and only has two meetings a month, Lynch said. Lynch called the situation “unfortunate.” She noted that McClary’s assistant’s position was eliminated and he has less help. Walker called McClary’s firing a major decision. Walker, too, added that there were topics he hears which were not brought up to him before. After the vote, McClary, who received hugs from people in attendance, said that he was still trying to synthesize council’s criticisms and wished that these things had been brought up to him prior to the public hearing. He said earlier that evening that the “council and the administration have to work together for the benefit of the city.” Garden City Planning Commissioner Harriette Batchik considered McClary extremely knowledgeable about ordinances and state laws. For all McClary has done, it will take a lot of time for a new person to come up to speed, she said. Resident Kerry Partin was angry at the decision. Al Buckner, a Garden City resident who didn’t support McClary, said the amount of people who showed up at the meeting didn’t represent the public’s true feelings. He added that while the city will have to pay McClary six months of pay in his severance package, the city will save money later. He pointed out that Acting City Manager Robert Muery is only receiving $35 a day extra over his police chief salary. Buckner called the people who came to support McClary, “friends of the mayor.” Garden City Council didn’t discuss next steps after some council members voted to fire McClary. When Garden City Manager David Harvey left for another job, the council interviewed three candidates who were screened from a list of about 13 candidates. They hired McClary who first worked as an interim city manager for six months for the city. A formal candidate search was never conducted.

Greenfield, California (population 16,330): Greenfield appointed a new city manager on Tuesday who was fired as city manager in two Florida cities and spurred a national debate on transgender identity, according to KSBW. Susan Ashley Stanton, formerly named Steve Stanton, was the city manager of Largo, Fla., for 17 years until media outlets reported that she was going to undergo a sex change. In 2006, Steve Stanton was a 48-year-old man who was married, a father of a 13-year-old son, and a city manager in charge of 1,000 Largo employees. In January 2007, Stanton privately told the mayor and other top city officials that she wanted to become a woman. But an uproar by Largo residents and religious leaders ensued when Stanton was outed by an article published by the St. Petersburg Times, and Largo’s City Commission voted to terminate Staton’s employment just days after. Stanton had a $15,000 gender-reassignment surgery and changed her legal name soon after she was fired in Largo. She later became city manager in Lake Worth, Fla., where she worked from 2009 until she was abruptly fired last December. During Greenfield’s City Council meeting on Tuesday night, council members are expected to appoint Stanton to the post and give her a city-owned house in Greenfield. Greenfield Interim City Manager Brent Slama and Mayor John Huerta declined to comment on the city’s decision to hire Stanton.

Whitewater, Wisconsin (population 14,390): Whitewater’s new city manager, Cameron Clappper, said he is confident he can continue successes and projects handed down from his predecessor, according to the The Janesville Gazette. Clapper’s top priorities include the city’s annual budget and economic development. Cannon has decades of experience in local government, including serving as city administrator in Sun Prairie. Beyond the budget and economic development, Clapper said he wants to continue a tradition of open and transparent government and show that Whitewater city government continues to look for ways to be more efficient without degrading essential services. Whitewater city employees have cooperated in the thinning process, Clapper said, and that needs to be recognized. Clapper said he intends to work for and with the community.

Powder Springs, Georgia (population 13,940): The Powder Springs City Council on Monday switched the role of Brad Hulsey—who served as the city’s mayor for four years—from interim city manager to the long-term position, according to the WestCobbPatch. Hulsey beat out roughly 50 initial applicants and two other finalists: Raymon Gibson, who most recently served as city administrator for the city of Stockbridge for a year; and Terry Todd, whose most recent job was the city manager for the city of Palmetto for four years. The appointment—which comes with a $104,000 annual salary—was made on a 4-1 vote, with Councilwoman Nancy Hudson against, the Marietta Daily Journal reports. She declined to elaborate on her vote to the paper after the meeting. Hulsey was making $72,000 in the interim role, which he started after leaving his insurance business Brad A. Hulsey & Associates. There, as president and CEO over eight sales agents, he made $48,000 a year—meaning his salary has more than doubled in less than a year. Wizner said the choice will likely be followed by criticism because of the job description’s qualifications: “bachelor’s degree in public administration or related field; master’s degree in public administration preferred; eight years of increasingly responsible experience in municipal or county government, including five years in a senior management role; or equivalent combination of education and local government experience.” Hulsey has a high school diploma, took classes from Floyd Junior College and Georgia State University, and his government experience includes being a Rockmart councilman, Powder Springs councilman (1996-99) and mayor (2000-04), and the city’s interim city manager since February. Gibson has a master’s in business administration from Columbia Southern University, and his government experience includes Stockbridge’s city administrator and assistant city manager, and Henry County Department of Planning & Zoning’s director, assistant director, planner and chief planner. Todd has a master’s in business administration from the University of West Florida, and his government experience includes Palmetto’s city manager; a program director for government service provider CH2M Hill; Fulton County’s deputy county manager and public works director; and the director of the Growth Management Department, director of the Environmental Resources Management Department, and a Public Works Department engineer for Escambia County, Florida. Wizner pointed to the job description phrase “equivalent combination of education and local government experience” and noted that “the ultimate authority on qualifications for city manager is the City Charter section 2.27 that states, ‘The mayor and city council shall appoint a city manager for an indefinite term and shall fix his compensation. The manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications and shall serve at the pleasure of the mayor and council.'” In his seven months as interim city manager, Hulsey “has done an oustanding job,” Wizner wrote. That job has included, among other things, balancing the fiscal 2013 budget. Meanwhile, Wizner said, “he took employee moral that was very low and turned it around. He has been active in the community and responsive to citizen’s concerns and issues. He has worked with the department heads to provide the best services for the city of Powder Springs.” The former city manager, Rick Eckert, resigned in mid-February after nearly two years with the city but received his full pay through the end of May as a consultant.

Waverly, Iowa (population 9,874): The Waverly City Council has extended an offer to Iowa native Philip Jones to serve as its next city administrator, according to the WCF Courier. If negotiations are finalized between Jones and the city, his contract may to approved as early as tonight. The Waverly City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Jones serves as utilities operations manager for Westminster, Colo., a city of 108,000 people. In that capacity, he leads 89 people and oversees an operating budget of $14.7 million and a capital budget of $2.3 million, according to Jones’ application. The Waverly council unanimously agreed to offer Jones the job after a multi-day interview process that included public and executive session meetings with finalists on Friday and Saturday. The city hired executive search firm Brimeyer Fursman LLC to help find a replacement for Waverly City Administrator Dick Crayne, who is set to retire Dec. 1. Brimeyer Fursman received 65 applications. The mayor and city council reviewed materials for 12 semi-finalists and selected five candidates to interview. Brunkhorst said the selection proved difficult as the search yielded a pool of qualified candidates. Jones, who completed his undergraduate work in public administration at the University of Northern Iowa, stood out for his people skills, management experience and long-term perspective, Brunkhorst said. If the city hires Jones, he would likely start in mid-November. That would allow him to shadow Crayne for two weeks.

Wells, Minnesota (population 2,343): Pending the outcome of a background check, the city of Wells will have a new city administrator, according to the Fairbault County Register. On Monday, the City Council unanimously voted to make an offer to Steve Bloom of Miltona – a small town located north of Alexandria. Bloom and two other finalists – Sarah Friesen of Minneota and Marc Dennison of Black Earth, Wis., – each answered 11 questions from council members during interviews held on Friday, Sept. 21. A fourth candidate – Mark Baker of Holstein, Iowa – withdrew his name from consideration prior to the interviews. Bloom has nearly 25 years of experience in city and county government that includes economic development. He’s also worked six years in education as a teacher. Council members agreed to offer Bloom an annual salary of $60,000, plus benefits. Councilwoman Ann Marie Schuster says all of the finalists had many strengths and it was nice to have a tough choice when it came time to making a decision. Bloom and city officials have yet to work out details of his contract, which are generally for one to three years. Bloom taking a job in Wells will be a return to his southern Minnesota roots. He graduated from Okabena High School in 1978 and then Mankato State University with a bachelor of science degree in community health/planning. After working several years in the public sector – including four years as Martin County coordinator and EDA director – Bloom earned a master’s degree in political science/public administration from Mankato State University in 1992. Bloom touts himself as a person who, “leads by example” and does not manage like a dictator. He says he’ll do whatever is necessary to promote the city. Bloom sees the city’s business base, downtown district, its cleanliness and overall appearance as positives that provide opportunities for growth. Bloom could be on the job as soon as today and will have some big projects to work on when he starts. In addition to completing the 2013 budget, Gaines says the new city administrator will be involved in the hiring of a new street department supervisor and community development director. Interim city administrator Brian Heck told the council he will work with Bloom for a smooth transition. Heck, who already has another interim job waiting for him at Thief River Falls, also has applied for a full-time position in Faribault.

Cologne, Minnesota (population 1,519): The Cologne City Council fired city administrator John Douville during a closed meeting late Wednesday evening, Oct. 10, according to the Waconia Patriot. Mayor Bernie Shambour Jr. confirmed the action the following day. Shambour did not share any specific reason for the termination, referring the issue to the city’s attorney. The NYA Times will be making a request for more information through the Data Practices Act. Douville had been placed on paid administrative leave following an earlier closed meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2. It was the third time he had been placed on leave this year. He was also placed on paid administrative leave from May 17 through June 3, and was placed on unpaid leave from June 12-25. The council had adopted a personal improvement plan for Douville and implemented the plan on May 31. Issues regarding his performance mentioned in the plan included a failure to satisfactorily supervise employees under his direction both in public works and in the city offices, a misappropriation of municipal funds by allowing third parties to use the community center facilities without paying the necessary fees, and storing personal data on the city’s computer system and server. He also failed to present revised personnel policies drafted by the city attorney’s office in the year 2008, according to the plan.

Transitions: Henry County, VA; Little Elm, TX; Mitchell County, GA and more

Benny Summerlin
1958-2012

Henry County, Virginia (population 54,151): The Henry County Board of Supervisors on Monday named Tim Hall county administrator in a unanimous vote, according to the Martinsville Bulletin. Hall, 52, who had been deputy county administrator, also was named the new general manager of the Henry County Public Service Authority (PSA). He will earn $126,184.79 for the dual roles that became vacant when Benny Summerlin, 53, of Axton, died Wednesday. Debra Buchanan, of the Horsepasture District, made the motion to appoint him to the post. H.G. Vaughn of the Ridgeway District seconded the motion, and the final vote followed an estimated 45-minute closed session meeting to fill the post. Jim Adams, chairman of the supervisors, said the board had other options, including appointing an interim administrator. The PSA Board of Directors also met Monday and took similar action. Hall was named deputy county administrator and also assistant general manager of the PSA in 2002, the same year Summerlin was appointed county administrator and general manager. Adams said only the administrator and county attorney report directly to the supervisors and noted that those are the only positions the supervisors fill. However, he said the vacant positions Hall previously held will first be posted internally to determine whether there are any interested and qualified applicants. Hall will make that determination and fill the two vacant posts, Adams said. Hall, who also served as the county’s public information officer, had served in a number of capacities in the Henry County school division, including teacher/coach and public information officer. He became news director at WMVA Radio in 1990, after leaving his nearly 10-year job as a writer/reporter and columnist for the Lynchburg News & Advance. Hall earned his MBA from Averett University in 2007; was a 1981 graduate of James Madison University and also a 1977 graduate of Martinsville High School. Hall and his family live in Collinsville.

Little Elm, Texas (population 25,898): The Town of Little Elm has selected Matt Mueller as the new town manager, according to the Little Elm Journal Star. Mueller, who has served as the city manager of Guthrie, Okla., will begin his service with Little Elm on Sept. 17 after he completes his current city’s budget. Little Elm Interim Town Manager Doug Peach described Mueller as very personable who will “only go to improve our current level of customer service.” When Mueller arrives, the town will introduce him to Little Elm ISD administration and principals and city officials in neighboring cities and within Denton County. Little Elm has been without a town manager for the last seven months. Peach, who served as the assistant town manager before the town manager’s resignation, has stepped up during that time to act as interim until the town could find a new one through a search firm. Mueller will be coming from Guthrie, a city that also has a lake and similar challenges that Little Elm has, Hillock said. The town’s emphasis has been on making customer service a priority and improving it. Mueller has also served as deputy city manager for Claremore, Okla., and the management analyst for Edmond, Okla. He currently serves as a board member for the City Management Association of Oklahoma. Mueller received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Oklahoma. While there, he was the president of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society and was awarded the political science department’s student leadership award. He received his Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Some of Mueller’s major accomplishments have included completing a new water treatment plant in Guthrie that will serve the city for the next 40-50 years. He has also aided in providing for infrastructure needs and long-term financial needs. Mueller discovered Little Elm’s search for a new town manager through the town’s search firm’s website and through his fellow colleague, the city manager in The Colony. Mueller said he has networked with several city managers in the area, describing the Dallas Metroplex as having “really innovative governments.” Mueller described the town council as a pro-growth group that has a great vision for the community. Little Elm’s growth is very intriguing and comes with both a tremendous amount of opportunities and challenges, he continued. When he arrives in September, Mueller plans to learn and absorb the first couple of months to really get a feel for Little Elm. He expects local government to be as efficient and productive as possible. Mueller has been married to his wife Rachel for almost 10 years. They are expecting their first child early next year. The Town of Little Elm will host a public meet and greet when Mueller arrives to introduce him to the community. The date is to be determined.

Mitchell County, Georgia (population 23,498): The Mitchell County Commission has voted to dismiss its county administrator, according to the Albany Herald. In a 3-1 vote, with one commissioner absent, the commission decided Tuesday to terminate Administrator Jerry Presley, citing a clause in his contract that allowed for the dismissal, Mitchell County Clerk’s office officials say. Commission Chairman Benjamin Hayward of District 1 was the sole commissioner to vote against termination. Attempts to reach Hayward on Thursday were unsuccessful. The Albany Herald, however, did obtain a copy of the handwritten dismissal letter sent to Presley that was signed by Hayward.

“Please allow this to serve as written notice of the termination of your employment contract with the Mitchell County pursuant to paragraph 12(a) of said contract,” the letter states. “The Board of Commissioners understands that you are entitled to three months of your annual salary together with other compensation provided in paragraph 12(b) of said contract. The board of commissioners believes that you are not a good match for Mitchell County.”

The paragraphs mentioned in the letter refer to the termination clause of Presley’s contract that states that either party can terminate the contract for any reason given at least 30 days of notice. Paragraph B states that if the contract is terminated but Presley is still able to perform the duties at the time of termination, that the county should pay him three months of severance and reward him with any leave or sick time he’s accrued. Following the vote, the commission voted 4-0 to reinstate Jerry Perminter as the county’s interim administrator until a full-time replacement can be found. The decision to dismiss Presley comes less that five months after commissioners voted to offer him the job on April 25 and less than three months after he accepted on June 4.

Wilmington, Massachusetts (population 22,325): The process of finding the replacement for retiring Town Manager Michael Caira was a smooth one, according to the WilmingtonPatch. So it comes as little surprise that the ensuing contract negotiations have been met with a similar result. According to both sides of the negotiations, a contract for Jeff Hull is likely to be finalized in September, and could be announced during the next Board of Selectmen meeting, which is slated for Monday, September 10. Negotiations have been taking place throughout the summer, and continued as recently as Monday during executive session of the Board of Selectmen meeting. Board of Selectmen chairman Mike Newhouse said he, like Hull, anticipates that there will be another executive session at the September 10 meeting, and a contract could be voted on that night by board members. Newhouse said it’s likely the executive session could take place before the regular agenda so that when open session begins, the contract could be finalized. Caira’s official last day is slated for September 30, and Hull’s contract will likely go into effect on October 1 when it is finalized. Though this will be Hull’s first Town Manager position, he has served as Wilmington’s Assistant Town Manager for several decades. Hull said he knows replacing the longest tenured Town Manager in Wilmington history will be no easy task, but it is a job he looks forward to.

Snellville, Georgia (population 18,242): Snellville officials have hired a new city manager to take the city helm, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post. Mayor Kelly Kautz announed the appointment of James C. (Butch) Sanders Thursday, a day after the city council voted after meeting in executive session. Slated to start on Monday, Sanders replaces Russell Treadway, who left the city earlier this year to return to his Tennessee home. Police Chief Roy Whitehead has served as interim city manager since May. Sanders, who has 25 years of experience in municipal work, resigned in February as Henry County’s manager. He has also worked for the city of McDonough and spent nearly 20 years with the city of Dalton. The Florida native received a bachelor’s degree and master’s of public administration from the University of Georgia. He and his wife Jennifer have two children. Terms of Sander’s contract have not been set.

Jasper County, Georgia (population 13,900): The Jasper County Commission voted unanimously August 14 to immediately terminate County Manager Greg Wood under terms of his contract, citing section 9.06, according to The Monticello News. The action came after a closed session lasting nearly an hour, and was applauded by many in the audience. The commissioners then agreed for Assistant County Manager/Chief Financial Officer Lorri Smith to serve as interim county manager. They also agreed to compensate Mrs. Smith $10,000 annually for the additional duties.

Washington, Iowa (population 7,266): The Riverside City Council has hired Russell “Rusty” Rogerson as its new city administrator/clerk, according to The Journal. The council voted to hire him at a special council meeting Wednesday afternoon, and less than 24 hours later Rogerson was hard at work in city hall.

Seat Pleasant, Maryland (population 4,542): After a two-year search to find its top administrative official, Seat Pleasant is once again in the market for a new city administrator, according to The Gazette. Vincent Jones announced his resignation effective Aug. 24 on Monday. He said he is departing to be the new deputy chief of staff for Richmond’s City Council. The Richmond, Va., area native served as Seat Pleasant’s city administrator since June 2011, becoming the first permanent replacement in the position since 2008. The City Council will discuss how to move forward in a closed session Monday, said Mayor Eugene Grant. Prior to Jones, the city’s last permanent city administrator was Sandra Yates who was fired in 2008 shortly after the September 2008 election. Of Yates’ exit, Grant said that personnel changes were common with new administrations coming in. Alex Rodriguez served as acting city manager during the search for a long-term replacement from December 2008 to April 2009. After Rodriguez and the city parted ways for reasons undisclosed because of a personnel issue, city treasurer Robert Ashton served as an acting city manager until Jones was hired in June 2011. Grant said he knows it will be a challenge to attract a permanent replacement because he wants a salary more competitive than the $80,000 annual one the city provides. However, with projects such as the $30 million to $50 million City Center project that includes a new City Hall and housing for seniors, he is confident the city will find a replacement that will move the city forward through its revitalization. Jones said he is proud of being able to update the city’s personnel manual and help the city develop a strategic plan that includes the city’s vision for future economic development and expanding public safety. Jones said he will miss the close working relationship he had with the Seat Pleasant city staff the most. Councilwoman Elenora Simms (Ward 1) said she wants the City Council to look through the candidates they considered when they hired Jones.

New Castle, Colorado (population 4,158): Tom Baker, former town manager for Carbondale and Basalt, has been offered the chance to do the same job for the town of New Castle, according to the Post Independent. According to a proposed “employment agreement” that will be considered by the Town Council tonight, Baker is being offered the job of town administrator, at $88,000 a year, plus benefits. The agreement, attached to the Town Council agenda for tonight’s meeting, did not indicate when Baker is expected to start work. Baker replaces former administrator Andy Barton, who left in May to take a job as town manager in Mesquite, Ariz. At the time he left, Barton was being paid $96,700 a year. The council offered the job to Baker after also considering former Snowmass Village assistant town manager Leslie Klusmire, former Venice, Fla., city manager Martin Black, and Monte Vista town manager Don Van Wormer. In addition to his salary, Baker will receive certain benefits, including use of a town-owned car for official purposes, and for commuting to and from work. Baker, who currently lives in Carbondale, also will be required to move to the New Castle area within a year, under the provisions of the proposed contract. The town has agreed to pay up to $3,500 in relocation expenses to make the move, and the contract states that “failure to do so [move] shall automatically terminate this agreement” unless Baker and the town agree to extend the deadline. Baker has logged considerable governmental work experience in Western Slope communities, having worked as a planner, assistant city manager and director of affordable housing in Aspen and Pitkin County prior to his jobs in Basalt and Carbondale. He also has run his own consulting firm, Baker and Associates, since 1994.

Fort Yukon, Alaska (population 583): Dave Richards, the former Pahrump town manager, has moved back to Alaska to take a position as city manager of Fort Yukon, a tiny community more than 100 miles northeast of Fairbanks, according to the Pahrump Valley Times. Richards was Pahrump town manager from January 2004 to February 2008 and left to become manager of Hoonah, Alaska, a community of 900 people just outside Juneau in southeastern Alaska. Richards left Hoonah in 2011 and came back to southern Nevada to live in Las Vegas. For the past year, he was seen at numerous political events in Pahrump and admitted he was looking for a job locally. Richards was appointed to the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission June 5 but was gone by this Wednesday’s meeting in which the board rejected a request for a conditional use permit by exotic animal owner Karl Mitchell. Richards was actively involved in the discussion on the Symphony Animal Foundation request at the July 11 RPC meeting. Richards said his two-year stint in Hoonah was in coastal Alaska; his new job in the interior will be quite different.

Transitions: Fayettville, NC; Port St. Lucie, FL; Vallejo, CA and more

Fayettville, North Carolina (population 200,564): Fayetteville’s City Manager Dale Iman announced Friday he is resigning April 1, ending his five-year tenure under pressure from a majority of City Council members, according to . Because of unused vacation time, next week will likely be his last on the job, Mayor Tony Chavonne said. Council members discussed Iman during a closed session Monday and decided they wanted him to step down amid criticism of his handling of the police consent search issue. He was told of the decision Tuesday. Statistics show about two-thirds of all consent searches during police traffic stops involve blacks, which has stirred allegations of racial profiling. Iman and Police Chief Tom Bergamine have denied the accusations and defended consent searches, which are used when officers don’t have probable cause. The council in January ordered an outside review and imposed a moratorium on consent searches, which a judge halted last week. A court hearing Monday will consider a preliminary injunction against the city. Iman and Bergamine opposed the probe and moratorium. The council’s growing frustration with both men – and in particular with Iman’s recent responses to the issue – appeared to reach a tipping point this week. Councilman Keith Bates was one of Iman’s supporters. One was Iman’s surprise announcement March 1 that police would begin using newly drafted driver consent forms starting March 5. Bates said the council voted down the idea in October. Another irksome decision came Feb. 29 when Iman announced by email that Bergamine would sit on an advisory panel assisting in the search for a new chief. Bergamine, 58, plans to retire effective July 1. Iman has refused to speak with a reporter this week. Councilwoman Val Applewhite said Iman had a difficult job trying to keep nine council members and the mayor happy. Chavonne said Iman has written his resignation letter, but it wasn’t included in an email to the council announcing his decision. A reporter was unable to obtain a copy of the letter Friday. Chavonne said the city would honor any obligations in Iman’s contract. According to a copy of the contract obtained Thursday, Iman would get a year’s salary if he were fired. If he resigned “following a suggestion either formal or informal” by the council, he could deem that a termination. He earns $176,693 a year. The city also must cover Iman’s health benefits for a year or until a new employer provides that coverage. Iman, 57, took over in fall 2006. Under his direction, the council adopted a five-year capital-improvement plan and began more consistently budgeting money to repave streets, demolish blighted buildings and replace aging vehicles and computers. The council adopted a program to improve rental housing and rewrote zoning and development codes. Last August, Iman received a 4 percent pay raise in what Chavonne described at the time as Iman’s best evaluation. Highlights of the review included the city’s response to the April tornadoes and last summer’s opening of N.C. Veterans Park. His tenure included tumultuous times, such as the 2007 “ticketgate” incident in which a traffic citation given to a friend of the mayor’s was improperly voided by police. In July 2010, council members were shocked to discover about $500,000 in transit money meant for bus shelters and other improvements wasn’t going to be spent under Iman’s direction. The racial disparities in police consent searches publicly surfaced in late 2010. The issue later divided the council and spurred concerns by civil rights groups and activists. The city hired the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives to conduct an outside review. The consultants will report their findings Monday. Iman told the council in a Feb. 29 email that the “allegations will be laid to rest” by the report. Chavonne said the council was forced to adopt the moratorium to have an outside review done. Chavonne acknowledged that Iman’s departure comes at a critical time during budget preparations. An assistant manager position is vacant, too. The council, he said, will likely name an acting city manager next week. He expects the city to begin a national search for a permanent replacement.

Port St. Lucie, Florida (population 164,603): City Council voted 4-1, with Vice Mayor Linda Bartz voting no, to fire City Manager Jerry Bentrott, according to WPTV. Assistant City Manager Greg Oravec was appointed acting city manager. A motion to fire City Attorney Roger Orr failed. Councilwoman Michelle Berger had motioned for City Manager Jerry Bentrott to be terminated. Councilwoman Shannon Martin seconded the motion. Both Berger and Martin had expressed their disappointment in how Bentrott and City Attorney Roger Orr handled department leadership and staff during the fall out a drinking and driving incident involving former Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor. The motion comes in the wake of Taylor’s termination Thursday morning. Mayor JoAnn Faiella had requested Bentrott be demoted to Assistant City Manager. The emergency meeting was paused so Council could return and make a formal motion. Berger had asked city staff to compile how much the city would have to pay out in severance packages to both Orr and Bentrott if they were to be terminated. Councilman Jack Kelly was adamant during the earlier discussion in waiting to make a decision on any terminations or demotions. He said it would be “ridiculous” to keep Bentrott on the job if all City Council was waiting to terminate him was on dollar figures. By Council voicing their thoughts on terminating him, Kelly said he’s already lost all credibility. Kelly recommended writing up both Orr and Bentrott and inserting the action in their file. Upset he received information on Assistant City Attorney Gabrielle Taylor late last week, Kelly is requesting council hold off on any decision until the details of internal affairs investigations are revealed in the coming weeks. Taylor was stopped by city police around 2 a.m. on Feb. 18 after Officer N. Lovechio witnessed Taylor swerving and speeding at 60 mph down city streets, according to a memo written by the officer.

Vallejo, California (population 115,942): By the end of his first week at Vallejo City Hall, Dan Keen said the city had not yet managed to surprise him, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald. But the city’s first full-time city manager since June 2009, chocks that up to 28 years of municipal experience. But there has been a little bit of paddling upstream for the new full-time city manager, he said. Keen, 52, comes to Vallejo from managing the city of Concord for the past three years. He said he has worked toward that goal of setting priorities through a series of meetings with the City Council and key staff members. He named obvious looming issues like overseeing the construction of the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget within the next three and a half months, potential employee contract negotiations — and his first Council meeting next Tuesday. Keen commended efforts by the city’s most recent interim city manager, Phil Batchelor — branded a “turnaround specialist — to fill most of the city’s looming top executive staff vacancies. With Batchelor’s legwork in the past 14 months, Keen said his new role was a little easier to fit into. He praised the city’s executive team as “outstanding” with “a lot of energy, great attitudes, good outlook on taking the city to a different place.” But plenty of work remains, said Keen, who has managed four other cities in the past 16 years.

Longmont, Colorado (population 86,270): A reception honoring departing city manager Gordon Pedrow will be held March 20, according to the Longmont Times-Call. Pedrow came to Longmont in 1993 from Glendale, Ariz. In the time since, Longmont grew from 52,000 people to about 87,000. He and his wife, Pam, plan to remain active in the community. On Thursday, the Longmont Police Department dedicated its new shooting range to Pedrow. The new city manager, Harold Dominguez, starts work April 2.

Lake Elsinore, California (population 51,821): After seven years on the job, Lake Elsinore City Manager Bob Brady’s tenure ended Tuesday when three of five City Council members voted to fire him, despite protests by dozens of residents and the threat of a recall campaign, according to the North County Times. Council members Daryl Hickman, Melissa Melendez and Peter Weber voted in favor of Brady’s dismissal, while Mayor Brian Tisdale and Councilman Bob Magee cast the dissenting votes. The action before the public in the council’s regular meeting echoed a decision the council had reached earlier during its performance review of Brady in a session closed to the public because it involved personnel matters. Leading up to the final vote, each of the three council members supporting Brady’s dismissal stated their rationales. Weber cited several areas where he felt Brady was lacking, including communications with some council members, the business community and the media. Hickman criticized Brady as allowing city government to be unfriendly toward business. Magee defended Brady’s integrity and performance, while Tisdale lamented the impending action. Melendez said her main objection was over the city manager’s contract, which various councils voted to increase from an annual base salary of $135,000 in 2005 to $185,000 to 2008, a contract extended last year to 2015. Also, Melendez said Brady was able to accrue administrative, sick and vacation leave for which the city is liable. In open session, she offered a compromise in which Brady would have agreed to revert to a $135,000 base salary with only annual extensions and no accrued leave beyond a two-week yearly vacation. No other council members, however, responded to the offer, and the vote on Brady’s termination went forward. As a result of guarantees written into his contract, Brady, a 14-year-city employee, will receive a year’s worth of salary and benefits as well as reimbursement for leave. In total, he will receive about $400,000 in severance pay, said James Riley, the city’s finance director. After the council’s decision, Brady was given a chance to speak. He thanked the public and staff, while defending his record. He acknowledged the outpouring of support for him. Subsequently, the council appointed Aquatic Resources, Parks and Recreation Director Pat Kilroy to serve as interim city manager. Prior to the meeting, more than 60 residents organized by a newly formed group called A Better Lake Elsinore led by local businessman Harvey Ryan and other civic leaders rallied in support of Brady and to protest against the three council members poised to remove him. After the council convened, 11 people spoke against Brady’s termination, one email was read into the record in support of keeping Brady, and one person supported release. Longtime activist Chris Hyland announced she is launching a recall campaign aimed at Hickman and served him with a notice to that effect. She alleged Hickman has failed to file accurate campaign financial disclosures and made racist remarks, among other allegations. Hickman called the allegations “bogus.”

Huber Heights, Ohio (population 38,101): City Manager Gary Adams is resigning due to personal reasons after less than a year in the position, according to the Dayton Daily News. City Council is expected to accept Adams’ resignation at Monday night’s meeting, and appoint Public Safety Director Jim Borland as the new city manager. Adams’ resignation is effective March 16, and he will move back to Illinois, where he has been offered a position of project manager/associate pastor for adult ministries at Harvest Baptist Church in Oswego. Adams’ wife — who had surgery about a year ago — and two daughters reside in Illinois, and the Adamses haven’t been able to sell their home. Adams, 64, started at the end of May 2011, and has 36 years of experience in city and county government. His annual salary was $135,000. Adams will remain as a consultant on a one-year agreement with the city at $50 an hour, not to exceed $10,000. Borland’s salary will be $130,000; he was previously making $103,000. The public safety director position is not expected to be filled, Mayor Ron Fisher said, and Borland will still be responsible for public safety. Adams came to Huber Heights with the reputation of fostering economic expansion and new development, and city officials believe the city will continue to build on what Adams has established. Borland, who served as interim city manager prior to Adams’ hiring, did not return messages seeking comment.

Botetourt County, Virginia (population 33,148): He’s gotten well-wishes from friends, colleagues – even Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, according to WDBJ. Botetourt County Administrator Jerry Burgess is ending his nearly 20-year career with the county. Burgess came to Botetourt County in 1992 after working in Florida. He was tasked with building the county’s tax base, but says he’s most proud of the team he’s managed to bring together. While Burgess is excited about his future, he knows the county is facing a challenge as the Commonwealth works to nail down a budget. The county hopes to name a new administrator by the end of the month. As for Burgess’ tie to Coach K – the two were classmates at West Point together.

McHenry, Illinois (population 26,992): Administrative shake-ups for the cities of McHenry and Woodstock will be taking place next month, according to the Northwest Herald. Personnel changes come after McHenry City Administrator Chris Black accepted a job offer earlier this week to be finance director for the city of Rockford. The McHenry City Council on Thursday approved Mayor Sue Low’s recommendation to hire Derik Morefield as the next city administrator. Morefield, 43, is the deputy city manager for Woodstock. Earlier this week, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey announced Black as his pick to be finance director. Rockford, the third-largest largest city in Illinois, had been searching for a finance director since fall. Black, a Rockford native and resident, was contacted by the city’s search committee about a month ago and went through interviews with committee members. With the Rockford City Council’s approval, Black is expected to begin his new job in May. Black worked in Rockford’s finance department as a financial analyst beginning in 1998. He was promoted to central services manager in 1999 and held that position until 2006, when he became McHenry’s finance director. In August 2010, he was named city administrator. He lives in Rockford with his family. Black, 45, said the decision was a difficult one. Low said she was “saddened” when she learned over the weekend that McHenry may be losing an “exceptional employee.” Black will stay on to help the city complete its budget cycle. Morefield, Black’s successor, was interviewed this week by each of the McHenry City Council aldermen. On Thursday, the council discussed Morefield’s candidacy in a closed session and afterward authorized the mayor to offer the job to Morefield. The attorney for the city of McHenry is preparing Morefield’s contract. The City Council is expected to vote on contract approval at its next regular meeting, March 19. Meanwhile, Woodstock officials plan to review the deputy city manager’s position and make any needed updates before starting its hiring process, City Manager Tim Clifton said. Morefield’s move to McHenry will serve both communities well, Clifton said. Morefield has 14 years of experience in municipal affairs. He’s been Woodstock’s deputy city manager since 2007. Before that, he served as Woodstock’s director of business development and assistant city manager. Morefield also has led economic development and downtown revitalization initiatives for the city.

Windsor, California (population 26,801): Windsor Town Manager Matt Mullan, who helped guide Sonoma County’s youngest city since its incorporation, announced his retirement Monday, according to the Press Democrat. Mullan, 60, informed the Town Council of his decision last week during his annual performance evaluation conducted in closed session. The Town Council agreed to hire a recruiting firm to find a successor for Mullan, who earns more than $185,000 annually. He will stay on the job until the end of the year. Mullan has worked in Windsor since 1989, beginning as assistant general manager of the Windsor Water District. When Windsor incorporated in 1992, he became assistant town manager and in 2005 was appointed town manager. Mullan’s guidance helped Windsor become one of the most financially stable cities in Sonoma County, Fudge said. His expertise with water systems was especially helpful when Windsor transitioned to a full-fledged town. Fudge credited him with innovative methods for handling Windsor’s treated wastewater, including recycling it into yard irrigation for more than 580 homes in the Vintage Greens subdivision. He also helped finalize a deal to hook-up to Santa Rosa’s Geysers pipeline, sending wastewater to the geothermal field for a steam-to-electricity conversion. While his predecessor, Paul Berlant, played a pivotal role in creating the Town Green, Mullan recalls negotiating the purchase of the land “when it was just a dirt pile,” before it was transformed into a plaza with shops and townhomes that became a model for smart growth. Mullan said there was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm when Windsor residents decided two decades ago to incorporate. Mullan, who grew up in San Francisco, began his government career in 1977, working in Daly City in the utility department, billing and supervising meter reading. He went on to work for Citizens Utilities as a district manager for the private water company, including in Guerneville, Monte Rio and Larkfield. Prior to working in Windsor, he worked as a water conservation administrator for the City of San Francisco. Mullan said that among other things he wants to spend more time with his first grandchild, seven months old, who lives near Sacramento. He also said he may do some consulting as well as part-time teaching in public administration at San Francisco State or the University of San Francisco.

Hamtramck, Michigan (population 22,423): Former Hamtramck City Manager Bill Cooper said Friday that he does not agree with the assertion that he willfully neglected his job and said he likely plans to seek more than $200,000 in severance under his contract, according to the Detroit Free Press. Cooper, 62, had been the city manager for more than three years when the City Council voted 4-3 during a special meeting Wednesday to fire him. Under his contract, Cooper earned $104,000 a year and is entitled to a severance of 18 months of salary and one year of both health care coverage and life insurance. Some City Council members disagree with Cooper’s firing. Cooper said he believes he has the support of the council members who voted against his firing. Councilman Tom Jankowski told the Free Press on Thursday that Cooper failed to have a plan to deal with city’s budget shortfall this year and the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Jankowski voted with two other council members and the mayor to fire Cooper. Councilwoman Cathie Gordon, who voted against firing Cooper, told the Free Press that it would have been fiscally responsible to give Cooper notice that his contract would not be renewed, instead of firing him. Cooper’s contract was to expire Oct. 1.
Carrboro, North Carolina (population 19,231): David Andrews, newly appointed Carrboro town manager, has been walking a lot during the past week, visiting local businesses and taking in the small-town feel of Carrboro, according to The Daily Tarheel. Andrews was sworn in at a Tuesday night Board of Aldermen meeting. Andrews, who has worked in local government for more than 20 years, applied for the position and was selected by the board and Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton. The town hired Springsted Inc., a consulting firm based in Richmond, Va., to conduct a national search, involving more than 50 applicants, four of whom were chosen to be interviewed. Chilton announced the selection at a board meeting Feb. 7.Chilton said Andrews understood Carrboro and its values. Andrews comes to Carrboro from the Town of Paradise Valley, Ariz., where he was assistant town manager and budget director. Paradise Valley Mayor Scott LeMarr said he is happy for Andrews. Alderman Randee Haven-O’Donnell agrees. Chilton said the most immediate challenge Andrews will face is the town budget. LeMarr said Andrews managed the town’s budget well during tough financial times. Andrews said he has already started working on the 2012-2013 town budget and will use his background in economic development and finance. Andrews said many Carrboro priorities interest him, including environmental preservation and economic development.

Newton, Iowa (population 15,254): Newton’s new City Administrator Bob Knabel knows how big an impact Maytag can have on a community, according to the Newton Daily News. He saw it firsthand during his time in Galesburg, Ill., a community that lost a Maytag production facility and jobs in 2004, three years before Maytag shut down Plant 2 in Newton. Knabel served as city manager in Galesburg between 1987 and 1997 and owned a restaurant in that community for part of that time as well. Knabel started last week in his role as Newton’s new city administrator. He brings a wide range of experience to the position coming most recently from Collinsville, Ill. near St. Louis has served over the years in city government in other communities throughout Illinois and even in New York. Bouncing from community to community is not uncommon among city managers and is something Knabel sees as coming with the territory. As councils change, so does the direction a particular city is heading. “Stability is five, six years, seven years — that’s the average tenure of a city administrator,” Knabel said, noting that over several election cycles, council members change and those who hire a particular administrator leave. New council members want to accomplish something different.

Hope Mills, North Carolina (population 15,176): The new town manager’s contract says it would take a simple majority vote by the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners to fire him, but a 4-1 vote to deny him severance, according to the Fayetteville Observer. Questions have arisen among some residents about the wording in John Ellis’ contract, which made it sound to some as if it would take a 4-1 vote to fire him. Town attorney Neil Yarborough said Tuesday that’s not true. The contract, approved March 5 by the board, lists reasons the manager’s employment could be terminated. They include his death, or termination “with cause” or “without cause.” Among the reasons for firing with cause include “such gross misconduct or neglect of duty as to be inimical to the interests of good government in the Town of Hope Mills as determined by at least a four-fifths vote of the Town Board.” Some residents took that to mean a 4-1 vote was needed to fire Ellis, instead of a simple majority of three members. Yarborough, who drew up the contract, said it would take a 4-1 vote only to deny the manager his severance package in the event of his firing. Yarborough said the manager would have had to engaged in “outrageous conduct” for him to be fired with cause. If fired without cause, the contract says Ellis would get six months of pay, payment for accrued annual leave and payment of health insurance for six months. Ellis is the former town finance director. He was appointed interim town manager when Randy Beeman was fired by a 3-2 vote in January. Commissioners cited several reasons for Beeman’s firing. He came under fire after recordings of him criticizing town officials were anonymously delivered to then-Mayor Eddie Dees. The 4-1 vote requirement to deny a severance package in certain instances was not included in Beeman’s contract, Yarborough said. Ellis was named town manager after a closed session March 5. The vote to hire him was 3-2, with Mike Mitchell, Pat Edwards and Bob Gorman voting for him and Tonzie Collins and Jerry Legge voting no. Collins and Legge said they wanted a more thorough search for a permanent manager. Ellis’ salary is $100,000 and will increase to $105,000 after six months. Beeman was paid about $84,000. Mayor Jackie Warner said the higher pay is in line with a recommendation from the N.C. League of Municipalities. Warner said Ellis did not negotiate the contract, except to request that he be given six months to relocate to Hope Mills instead of four months. The town agreed to pay him up to $2,500 in moving expenses. Ellis and his family live in Fuquay-Varina, where he used to serve as town manager. Ellis said he is satisfied with the contract as written. He is scheduled to be sworn in as town manager at a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Town Hall.

Lower Salford Township, Pennsylvania (population 14,959): Joseph S. Czajkowski, who will be Lower Salford’s new township manager, starts the job April 10, according to the Montgomery News. With current manager J. Delton Plank set to retire the end of April, Czajkowski’s hiring was approved at the March 7 Lower Salford Township Board of Supervisors meeting. board Chairman Douglas Gifford said. Czajkowski is currently the manager in Newtown Township, Bucks County. His previous positions include with Lower Gwynedd Township and Comcast. He was chosen from almost 50 people who applied, Gifford said. The incoming Lower Salford manager was accompanied to the March 7 meeting by his wife and three children. His salary in the new position is $115,000, and is similar to what Plank was paid. Plank, whose previous positions include ones in Souderton Borough and Franconia Township, has been Lower Salford’s manager for 11 years. Sheila Freed, Lower Salford’s finance director, will also be retiring this year. Her retirement will be at the end of June, Gifford said as the board approved beginning advertising for a replacement. Freed, who has been in the Lower Salford position for about 10 years, previously worked for Franconia Township, Plank said following the meeting.

Hanover, Massachusetts (population 13,879): Troy Clarkson says he couldn’t resist placing his name into consideration to be Hanover’s new town manager, even though he had renewed his commitment to his town manager’s job in Bridgewater last fall, according to The Boston Globe. At the time, Clarkson had bowed out of the running for a similar position in Kingston. But then the Hanover job came along. Clarkson was chosen by Hanover selectmen Monday over 49 other candidates for the post. The job will pay about $130,000 annually. Clarkson, a Falmouth resident and former Plymouth County administrator, will succeed Steve Rollins, who retires in June after 25 years as Hanover’s top administrator. Once he takes the reins, Clarkson said his primary goals will be to promote continuing economic development in the Route 53 corridor and also pick up on the remediation efforts at the National Fireworks Co. site, which are in negotiations. The sprawling 240-acre property located off King and Winter streets borders Hanson and Pembroke. Waterways that flow through the parcel are contaminated with heavy metals and solvents from generations of manufacturing explosives and munitions at the site, and town and state officials are working to determine who would be responsible for the cleanup. If they cannot make that determination and have a plan in place by June, the state will bring in the federal government by having the property put on a national priority list for Superfund cleanup. Hanover has sought to avoid this in order to retain local control. Clarkson did not offer specifics on his economic growth ideas but said he had laid out some possibilities for selectmen. Susan Setterland, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, praised the five-member screening committee that narrowed the field of candidates to the finalists: Clarkson, interim Ipswich town administrator Thomas Younger, and Bourne Town Administrator Thomas Guerino. But Clarkson’s abilities, skills, and focus on communication really stood out, she said, and he took it upon himself to get to know what was going on in Hanover both fiscally and socially. While an offer has been made, and contract negotiations are expected to wrap up this week, Setterland said Clarkson is still subject to a background check as well as both a physical and psychological exam. If all goes well, Clarkson is bound to give 30-days’ notice to Bridgewater and then will begin work in Hanover to learn the ropes alongside Rollins until he leaves. Clarkson said going to work in Hanover will benefit him personally and professionally but he’ll also miss many of his colleagues in Bridgewater, including his department heads. What he won’t miss is his rancorous power struggles with the nine-member Bridgewater Town Council that blew up last year with a court battle over who had the authority to hire and fire. It ended with Clarkson being reprimanded for seeking the legal opinion. He also survived an attempt to have him removed from his post last July, because of the challenge. Still, despite the turmoil, Clarkson said he was grateful for his time in Bridgewater. He said he took on the Bridgewater job as it was in the midst of converting from a Town Meeting and Board of Selectmen form of government to that of a town manager and Town Council. Such a drastic transition could be hard on anybody, he said. At least one member of the Town Council feels the same way. Bill Callahan said that Clarkson did an excellent job in Bridgewater and that Hanover is lucky to have him. Calls and e-mails to seven other members of the council, including the president and vice president, were not returned. Council member Mike Demos said he had no comment. Hanover has undergone a similar governmental change over the past two years, after residents adopted the Town Manager Act, which involved increasing the number of selectmen in the town from three to five and streamlining town departments into a centralized operation with six departments. That transition has gone smoothly as Rollins, who had previously served as the longtime town administrator, agreed to shepherd the changes until his contract runs out in June. Setterland said everyone is looking forward to Clarkson coming on board. She praised Rollins and his longtime commitment to the town, acknowledging that he will be missed for his many day-to-day contributions.

Swampscott, Massachusetts (population 13,787): The Swampscott Board of Selectmen on Wednesday picked Thomas Younger as the new town administrator, according to the Boston Globe. The board voted 3-2 in favor of Younger, the interim town manager in Ipswich, over Swampscott resident Gerard Perry, director of accounts at the state Department of Revenue. Christopher Senior of Port Washington, N.Y., was a third finalist, culled from a group of about 50 candidates. After Board of Selectmen chairman Matthew Strauss cast the deciding vote, the board voted a second time to make it unanimous, as a show of support. Strauss said that he expected to conduct negotiations within a few days of the decision. The job was advertised with a salary range of $113,000 to $130,000. Pending a successful negotiation, Younger will replace Andrew Maylor, who was town administrator for nine years until December 2011, when he left to become town manager in North Andover. Dave Castellarin, Swampscott’s assistant town administrator, has been serving as interim town administrator since Maylor’s departure. Younger, who holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University and a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University, has a long history in town and state government, most recently serving as town administrator in North Reading for 10 years and his hometown of Belmont for 6 1/2 years before taking the interim job in Ipswich in January. Previously, he worked for nine years as property transactions manager for the state Division of Capital Planning and Operations, and he has also held municipal jobs in Oak Bluffs and Norton. He is president of the Massachusetts Municipal Managers Association. In recent months, he has been a finalist for town manager or administrator jobs in Hanover, Winchester, Marblehead and – ironically – North Andover, where he lost out to Maylor. Maylor, too, was a finalist in several town manager/administrator searches before landing in North Andover. In addition to his position with the state Department of Revenue, Perry is a longtime Town Meeting member who has served on several volunteer committees. Selectmen David Van Dam and Richard Malagrifa cast votes for Perry, while Jill Sullivan, Barry Greenfield, and Strauss supported Younger. Younger’s biggest challenge, Malagrifa said, might be to live up to the standards set by his predecessor.

Bridgewater, Massachusetts (population 7,841): As the clock winds down on the rocky relationship between the Bridgewater Town Council and soon-to-be departing town manager, the post mortems are as divided as ever as to what went wrong and who’s to blame, according to the Bridgewater Independent. Town Manager Troy Clarkson’s apparently imminent exit for the same position in Hanover gives town government a chance for a “fresh start,” said Councilor Peter Colombotos. On that point Clarkson’s supporters and critics seem to agree: the relationship between the majority of councilors and the town manager was anything but a harmonious union. It was marked by an ongoing power struggle that brought councilors to the brink of firing Clarkson last summer, landed the parties in court and inspired an ongoing recall effort to remove two councilors. But Colombotos by no means lays all the blame at Clarkson’s feet for the stormy relationship and impending divorce. Colombotos said Clarkson, who took over as town administrator in 2010 shortly before voters adopted a charter that made sweeping changes to town government, including converting his position to town manager and establishing the first-ever Town Council, has many strengths and faced many challenges. But Colombotos said, Clarkson’s lack of previous experience as a town manager was a handicap. But Councilor Kristy Colon said she doesn’t think Clarkson’s lack of experience as a town manager was his only shortcoming in the job. Mel Shea of Citizens Forum, the group that organized the recall effort currently underway, said he’s happy for Clarkson, who’ll be getting a lot more money in Hanover and likely will be faced with fewer headaches. But Shea is deeply disappointed “a talented manager” was pushed out the door, he said. And Shea said Clarkson’s departure doesn’t end the debate over the meaning of the charter as it relates to the respective powers of the legislative and executive branches of government.  Council President Scott Pitta said he wasn’t surprised by Clarkson’s job hunt. But there was no guarantee he could reach that magic number for reappointment by the nine-member body, depending on the outcome of the upcoming election, Pitta said. Pitta said he agrees with Colombotos there is enough blame to go around for the failures of the past, but he’s more interested in looking forward.

Rockland, Maine (population 7,297): James Smith, who has served as Brewer’s assistant city manager since 2007, will be the next city manager of Rockland, according to the Bangor Daily News. Mayor Brian Harden announced the hiring Monday afternoon after he briefed city department heads. The City Council met last week and agreed on Smith, but an announcement was withheld while terms of his employment agreement were being formalized. Smith will be paid $80,000 a year, the mayor said. A formal vote on a resolve to hire Smith and sign his employment agreement was scheduled for Monday, March 5. He will begin work in Rockland on Monday, April 2. In a press release issued Monday evening, Brewer City Manager Steve Bost congratulated Smith, who gave his 30-day notice that day, and wished him well as he transitions into his new position in Rockland. Smith is a Maine native. He served 10 years in the Marine Corps, including several overseas posts. He then attended the University of Maine, earning a bachelor’s degree in public administration. He served one year as town manager of the Aroostook County town of Oakfield before getting the Brewer post. A resident of Greenbush, Smith is married with four children and will move to Rockland after the end of the school year. Smith was active in committees of the Maine Municipal Association and as a volunteer in his town, Harden said. The mayor also praised the work of Finance Director Tom Luttrell, who has served as interim city manager since Rosemary Kulow left Oct. 6 to become town manager of Poland. Brewer has a population of 9,482 residents, according to the 2010 Census. The overall budget for municipal and school costs is $32.5 million. Rockland’s population is 7,297 and its municipal budget is $10.1 million. Rockland’s local share of RSU 13’s $26 million budget is $7.2 million.

Kimberly, Wisconsin (population 6,468): Kimberly leaders say they will offer the village’s top administrative post to Adam Hammatt, a former administrator of the Brown County village of Suamico, according to the Appleton Post-Crescent. Hammatt was one of three candidates who took part in a two-day, open interview process this weekend with village staff, residents and elected officials. Kuen said Hammatt emitted the village’s core values, those of family and integrity. Hammatt will receive a contract offer on Monday. Hammatt will replace Village Administrator Rick Hermus, who plans to retire at the end of April. Hermus has worked for the village for almost 30 years. Hermus became Kimberly’s first administrator when the position was created in May 1987.

Madison, Florida (population 3,006): After six days on the job, brand-new Madison City Manager Tim Bennett spoke with the Rotary Club members at their Feb. 24 meeting, to tell them a little about himself and why the City of Madison holds such a special place in his heart…and what he hopes to bring to Madison in return, according to Greene Publishing. Born in New Orleans, Bennett’s family moved to Graceville, near Marianna in Jackson County, in the mid-1950s. Somewhat smaller than Madison, Graceville was a little Florida Panhandle town “known for peanuts, preachers and good fried shrimp,” said Bennett. His father, a Baptist preacher, preached in Baptist churches up and down Highway 90 in the days before I-10 became a fact of life. Bennett and his wife were high school sweethearts, but they went their separate ways after graduation, only to find each other again 25 years later. Bennett attended Chipola Junior College and Florida State University; in his early 20s, he covered high school sports, first for the Tallahassee Democrat, and then for the Pensacola News Journal, traveling up and down the panhandle to dozens of little communities. Then one day, while transcribing a tape from an interview, he realized he wanted to do something different – so he joined the Marines. He described a scene where he walked into the USMC recruiting office, a bearded figure in a blue paisley shirt, much to the surprise of the recruiting officer. He wanted to be a marine, he told the surprised officer. He saw their ad in Reader’s Digest and liked it. Furthermore, he wanted the hardest job they could give him – that of infantryman, where he served for the next four years, in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. For the following 16 years after that, he was transferred into the public affairs office, becoming the Marine Corps liaison with dozens of local communities. At one point during those 16 years, he was responsible for providing American radio and television fare for U.S. military families stationed in Japan. After 20 years in the Marines, he transitioned back into civilian life, and began to work directly with local communities, in varying capacities. He worked for a year putting welfare clients into jobs. He worked as a public information officer for Beaufort County, S.C., and then as the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce for Hilton Island. In the nearby town of Bluffton, he worked first as an assistant town manager, and then as the deputy town manager. While he was there, he saw that town, historically tagged with the adage “One Square Mile,” suddenly take off in late ‘90s, rapidly growing to 55 square miles within the next few years. His next position was in Allendale County, S.C., a small, rural, poverty-stricken area with a 25 percent unemployment rate and an extremely high rate of teen pregnancies. In such an environment, it took an outlook that was not just positive, but “aggressively positive…at every level. We got things done.” The guiding philosophy was “we may be a small, poor county, but we don’t take a back seat to anybody.” As the new City Manager for Madison, he brings to his new position that same outlook. The County and City of Madison have a lot in common with Allendale County, being small, poor and primarily agricultural, with a high teen pregnancy rate and a significant percentage of families living below the poverty line. The City of Madison has small businesses that struggle in tough economic times, and the city’s budget is tight, as is the county’s. These are the kind of challenges Bennett is familiar with. In his first six days as City Manager, Bennett has met with all the department heads to establish a rapport and start building dialogue. He has also had meetings with all the City Commissioners except one. He has attended county commission meetings and chamber of commerce meetings to get a sense of things, and would like to meet with the prison warden, the president of NFCC, the CEO of the hospital and several other officials. His first few days will be “Look, listen, feel…get a sense of what is going on.” He will be working with many departments and city services, but does not want to change anything unless such changes are warranted. Acknowledging the challenges ahead, he thanked the City Commissioners and the citizens of Madison for the opportunity to come back and serve in an area he loves. The City of Madison may be small and poor, he told everyone, but it will not take a back seat to anybody.

Ocean View, Delaware (population 1,882): The search for Ocean View’s new town manager is over, according to DelMarVaNow. The municipality will name current Fruitland City Manager Rick Konrad in the role following the November termination of Conway Gregory. Gregory was let go after he announced he would not seek an extention of his employment agreement with the town once it expired March 1. Konrad, who has worked for Fruitland since 2010, is expected to start at Ocean View on approximately April 15.

Transitions: Luzerne County, PA; Port Orange, FL; Decatur County, GA and more

Luzerne County, Pennsylvania (population 320,918): After a six-day, 2,800-mile drive from California, Robert Lawton is settling into a Kingston rental and preparing for his high-profile position as Luzerne County government’s first professional manager under home rule, according to The Times Leader. Lawton said he has been monitoring county developments from afar, but won’t take positions on any pending issues until he gathers and discusses information that will be available after he starts the $110,000 position. Under home rule, the manager oversees daily operations and many duties previously handled by three elected commissioners. Employees should expect a lot of interaction with the new chief. He praised Interim Manager Tom Pribula, who accepted the temporary leadership post when home rule was officially enacted Jan. 2. Daily monitoring of the county budget is necessary, and Lawton said he will ensure the council and public are regularly updated on spending and revenue – both current and projected through the rest of the year. He also will report on steps taken to control costs. Lawton plans regular meetings with department heads and senior management to explain his own directives and hear their ideas. He said he’s open to all feasible suggestions to make county government more efficient. Lawton also wants to develop an open dialogue with union workers to discuss county finances and “what lies ahead.”

Port Orange, Florida (population 45,823): Ken Parker, one of the state’s longest tenured city managers, has announced he will retire at this time next year, leaving the position he’s held in Port Orange since 1984, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal. He said he thought about other options for his life, including travel with his wife, volunteer work and spending more time with his grandchildren. Recently, Parker, acting as the city’s hearing officer, fired Warren Pike, the city’s longtime public works director, after he acknowledged giving his teenage son the access code to the yard, where thousands of dollars of merchandise was later determined to have been stolen.

Decatur County, Georgia (population 27,842): County Administrator Tom Patton resigned by telephone Tuesday night, during a two-hour executive session that followed the regular meeting of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners, according to The Post-Searchlight. Patton was not present for either the 5:30 p.m. work session, or the 7 p.m. meeting. The executive session lasted from 8:10 p.m. until 10:10 p.m., when the board came back into open session and announced that they had accepted Patton’s resignation. County Chairman Dr. C.T. Stafford said it was a “negotiated resignation” that the board immediately accepted. Stafford also said Patton would receive a $29,400 lump-sum payment in the coming days, which includes accumulated unused personal and sick time. Stafford said that this decision was best for the overall welfare of the county. Patton’s resignation is a result of the controversy surrounding his alleged failure to report a sewage spill at the Decatur County wastewater treatment plant in February 2011. Earlier Tuesday night, the Decatur County Board of Commissioners publicly addressed the spill, which some commissioners alleged had been “covered up” by County Administrator Tom Patton and County Finance Director Carl Rowland. The spill has been the source of controversy for the county in recent weeks. According to commissioners, there was a spill at the wastewater treatment plant in February 2011, although the exact magnitude of that spill is uncertain.  However, it was reportedly severe enough that Board Chairman C.T. Stafford, County Attorney Brown Moseley and wastewater treatment facility engineer Stacy Watkins took a trip to Atlanta last Friday to meet with officials at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Stafford said Tuesday that the county would be cited for the spill, but no major fines would be levied. Stafford said he was first notified of the spill in February 2011, shortly after it occurred. However, several commissioners expressed their concern that they were not told about the spill until many months after its occurrence. Commissioner Oliver Sellers said he was not told about the February 2011 spill until one year later. In April 2011, the EPD ordered the county to address the issue of raw sewage allegedly finding its way into the Flint River as a result of problems at the county’s wastewater treatment plant. Decatur County Commissioners agreed to pay a $15,000 fine and take steps to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant, which is about 30 years old. Commissioner Dr. David C. “Butch” Mosely, who served as the board chairman in 2011, said he did not know about the spill until December 2011. He also noted that Watkins had told him that the upgrades at the wastewater treatment plant were not proceeding in a timely matter. Mosely said there was a “cover-up” to keep the news of the spill under wraps. He also stated that both the county’s wastewater treatment permits, as well as the EPD consent order, require that all spills must be reported, regardless of severity. Commissioner Frank Loeffler said the county was lucky to avoid harsh penalties. Commissioner Russell Smith said he did not feel there was a “cover-up,” but did admit there could have been better communication.

Ontario, Oregon (population 11,366): The city of Ontario will be looking for a new administrator as City Manager Henry Lawrence announced Wednesday he has accepted a city manager position with the city of Eagle Point, located northeast of Medford in Jackson County, according to The Argus Observer. With a population of nearly 8,500, Eagle Point is smaller than Ontario. Lawrence said the new position offered a good career opportunity. He was one of four people interviewed for the position, according to the Medford Mail Tribune. Lawrence said he is proud of all that has been accomplished with the City Council and other officials and staff during his tenure, mentioning particularly the city’s stronger financial position. Department directors and managers will be working closely with the mayor and City Council to determine how the council wishes to handle this interim transition period between city managers, Lawrence said.

Rockland, Maine (population 7,609): Rockland City Council has offered the job of City Manager to James Smith of Greenbush, Maine, and Smith has accepted the position, according to The Free Press. Mayor Brian Harden made the announcement on Monday afternoon. A formal vote on a resolve to hire Smith, along with the signing of an employment agreement, has been scheduled for a special City Council meeting next Monday, March 5. Smith is a Maine native who has been serving as Assistant City Manager in Brewer since 2007. He is a graduate of the University of Maine Orono with a BA in public administration. Prior to attending college, Smith served 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. While working in Brewer, Smith was active on committees of the Maine Municipal Association and as a local community volunteer. He is married with four children and will move with his family to Rockland after the end of the current school year. Harden said that Smith is very enthusiastic about coming to Rockland and is planning to begin the new job on Monday, April 2.

Santa Clara, Utah (population 6,003): Santa Clara will welcome a new city manager next week to fill the vacancy left after former City Manager Wally Ritchie took a pitching coach job with Brigham Young University’s baseball team last fall, according to The Spectrum. Edward Dickie, a former Ivins city employee and the current North Ogden city manager, will step into the role Monday, taking over from Interim City Manager Brock Jacobson, who will fill the administrative services director position that has been vacant since Barbara Salmon retired last summer. Mayor Rick Rosenberg said the city received 39 applications for the job, which were narrowed down to a “short list” of seven people for final interviews. Rosenberg said Santa Clara notified Dickie of its decision in January but gave him time to give North Ogden his notice and work through the management transition. As city manager, Dickie will supervise the day-to-day operations of the city’s departments and their directors. Rosenberg said Dickie’s experience in North Ogden for the past four years was a selling point during the selection process. Dickie said he was Ivins’ administrative services director and assistant to the city manager before moving north, but he kept his Ivins home and rented it to his parents. After using a few days of vacation time from his North Ogden job to start work in Santa Clara, he’ll return to northern Utah to officially finish his job there on March 9, then his wife and four children will move back to Southern Utah with him, he said. Although he will live in Ivins, Dickie acknowledged that Santa Clara officials would like him to move into their city limits once the dust settles.

Sergeant Bluff, Iowa (population 4,467): City Administrator Jim Ferneau is leaving in April to be the City Manager of Burlington, Iowa, according to KTIV.  Burlington’s population is six times the size of Sergeant Bluff. Originally from Marshalltown, Ferneau has held the City Administrator’s job for four years. He’s proudest of the projects the city has undertaken during that time.

Minonk, Illinois (population 2,168): The same Minonk City Council that cast a vote of no confidence in Doug Elder accepted his resignation as city administrator, according to the Journal Star. Elder resigned Monday night during a special council meeting. Elder had come under criticism recently from council members who alleged he had communication problems with them and with the public. When contacted Tuesday, Elder had little comment. The terms of his resignation included a mutual non-disparagement clause. According to his resignation agreement, Elder will be paid and receive benefits through July 7. Elder’s resignation culminates a tumultuous month that included the City Council’s 4-2 no-confidence vote last week during its regular meeting. Many of the city responsibilities Elder held will fall to Koos, whose mayoral job is part time. Elder’s former position is full time. Other city employees will fill breaches, according to Koos. Elder’s departure comes at a particularly inopportune time organizationally, with budget planning under way. The current fiscal year ends April 30. Before Elder’s hiring, Minonk had not had a city administrator for about two years. Koos said he has no timetable for finding Elder’s replacement.

Wayzata, Minnesota (population 1,998): Heidi Nelson will become the next city manager in Wayzata, according to the Star Tribune. Nelson is deputy city administrator and community development director in the city of Ramsey, in Anoka County. She also serves as executive director of Ramsey’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Nelson will take over from Al Orsen, who will retire in April after 36 years in Wayzata, first as city engineer and as city manager since 1985. Several panels of city staff members, City Council members and citizens at large evaluated the candidates from an initial pool of 77 applicants. Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox called Nelson “a high energy, enthusiastic and community-engaged leader” who will bring fresh perspective and experience in economic development to the west metro community in Hennepin County.

Troutman, North Carolina (population 1,592): Troutman Town Manager David Saleeby announced his retirement at a special meeting of the town’s Board of Aldermen on Wednesday, according to the Statesville Record & Landmark. Saleeby, 58, has been with the town since 2006, three years after he retired from Duke Energy. Saleeby said he has lived in Troutman all of his adult life and that his wife, Janie, is a native. Saleeby added that he would stay involved in the town. That involvement includes helping current Town Finance Director Steve Shealy transition to his new duties as interim town manager. Saleeby said the Board of Aldermen would start a search for a new manager soon. Saleeby said the town is in “excellent shape” and that it has “one of the best police departments” in Iredell County. He credited the town staff and the Board of Aldermen for maintaining a tightly run and efficient government.